The Wind – tapped like a tired Man –
And like a Host – “Come in”
I boldly answered – entered then
My residence within
A rapid – footless Guest –
To offer whom a Chair
Were as impossible as hand
A Sofa to the Air –
No Bone had He to bind Him –
His Speech was like the Push
Of numerous Humming Birds at once
From a superior Bush –
His Countenance – a Billow –
His Fingers, as He passed
Let go a music – as of tunes
Blown tremulous in Glass –
He visited – still flitting –
Then like a timid Man
Again, He tapped – ‘twas flurriedly –
And I became alone –
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; I hear the
Clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba, business in the
Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle while he cinches the girth.
And he may mound by himself: I will not give him a leg up.
Though he flick my shoulders with his whip, I will not tell
Him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where the
Black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not
On his pay-roll
I will not tell him the whereabouts of my friend nor of my
Though he promise me much, I will not map him the route to
Any man’s door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living, that I should deliver men
Brother, the password and the plans of our city are safe with
Me; never through me
Shall you be overcome.
I tell you, even rocks crack,
And not because of age.
For years they lie on their backs
In the heat and the cold,
So many years,
It almost seems peaceful.
They don’t move, so the cracks stay hidden.
A kind of pride.
Years pass over them, waiting.
Whoever is going to shatter them...