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Elegy Before Death

Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892 (Rockland) – 1950 (Austerlitz)

There will be rose and rhododendron
When you are dead and under ground;
Still will be heard from white syringas
Heavy with bees, a sunny sound;

Still will the tamaracks be raining
After the rain has ceased, and still
Will there be robins in the stubble,
Brown sheep upon the warm green hill.

Spring will not ail nor autumn falter;
Nothing will know that you are gone,
Saving alone some sullen plough-land
None but yourself sets foot upon;

Saving the may-weed and the pig-weed
Nothing will know that you are dead,—
These, and perhaps a useless wagon
Standing beside some tumbled shed.

Oh, there will pass with your great passing
Little of beauty not your own,—
Only the light from common water,
Only the grace from simple stone!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism more…

All Edna St. Vincent Millay poems | Edna St. Vincent Millay Books

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    "Elegy Before Death" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 8 Mar. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/9366/elegy-before-death>.

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