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A Sonnet by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Only until this cigarette is ended,
  • A little moment at the end of all,
  • While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,
  • And in the firelight to a lance extended,
  • Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,
  • The broken shadow dances on the wall,
  • I will permit my memory to recall
  • The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.
  • And then adieu, — farewell! — the dream is done.
  • Yours is a face of which I can forget
  • The color and the features, every one,
  • The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
  • But in your day this moment is the sun
  • Upon a hill, after the sun has set.


Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was born in Rockland, Maine. She attended Vassar College and upon graduation moved to Greenwich Village. In 1917, she published
Renascence and Other Poems; in 1920, A Few Figs from Thistles; and in 1921, Second April, from which this sonnet is taken. Two years later, in 1923, when she was just 31 years old, Millay published The Harp Weaver and Other Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A master of rhymed, metrical forms and a superb sonneteer, Millay wrote a poetry that was at once witty, perceptive, passionate, and exquisitely wrought. Beautiful and bisexual, she had many lovers both before and during her marriage to Eugen Jan Boissevain. Millay’s brilliant achievements in strict form place her in the first ranks of 20th-century American poets; in a period when many of the high modernists are read only in university classrooms, Millay’s poetry remains widely read and admired.

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Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
  • Only until this cigarette is ended,
  • A little moment at the end of all,
  • While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,
  • And in the firelight to a lance extended,
  • Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,
  • The broken shadow dances on the wall,
  • I will permit my memory to recall
  • The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.
  • And then adieu, — farewell! — the dream is done.
  • Yours is a face of which I can forget
  • The color and the features, every one,
  • The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
  • But in your day this moment is the sun
  • Upon a hill, after the sun has set.


Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was born in Rockland, Maine. She attended Vassar College and upon graduation moved to Greenwich Village. In 1917, she published
Renascence and Other Poems; in 1920, A Few Figs from Thistles; and in 1921, Second April, from which this sonnet is taken. Two years later, in 1923, when she was just 31 years old, Millay published The Harp Weaver and Other Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A master of rhymed, metrical forms and a superb sonneteer, Millay wrote a poetry that was at once witty, perceptive, passionate, and exquisitely wrought. Beautiful and bisexual, she had many lovers both before and during her marriage to Eugen Jan Boissevain. Millay’s brilliant achievements in strict form place her in the first ranks of 20th-century American poets; in a period when many of the high modernists are read only in university classrooms, Millay’s poetry remains widely read and admired.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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