When We Are Old And These Rejoicing Veins

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

When we are old and these rejoicing veins
Are frosty channels to a muted stream,
And out of all our burning their remains
No feeblest spark to fire us, even in dream,
This be our solace: that it was not said
When we were young and warm and in our prime,
Upon our couch we lay as lie the dead,
Sleeping away the unreturning time.
O sweet, O heavy-lidded, O my love,
When morning strikes her spear upon the land,
And we must rise and arm us and reprove
The insolent daylight with a steady hand,
Be not discountenanced if the knowing know
We rose from rapture but an hour ago.

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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…

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"When We Are Old And These Rejoicing Veins" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/9499/when-we-are-old-and-these-rejoicing-veins>.

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