Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay

American poet and playwright (B:1892-02-22 - D:1950-10-19)

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The Penitent

I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, “Little Sorrow, weep,” said I,
“And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!”

Alas for pious planning-
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep-
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So up I got in anger,
And took a book I had,

And put a ribbon on my hair
To please a passing lad.

And, “One thing there's no getting by-
I've been a wicked girl,” said I;
“But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!”

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