Dirge without Music
in
The Buck in the Snow and Other Poems
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Harper and Row Publishers

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the
      hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, - but the rest is lost.

The answer quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter,
      the love,-
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant
      and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do
      not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all roses in
      the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.


© Copyright Harper and Brothers, 1950. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this work may be reporoduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system now or hereafter invented, without permission in writing from the Publisher.