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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sonnet 1

Thou art not lovelier than lilacs,—no,

Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair

Than small white single poppies,—I can bear

Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though

From left to right, not knowing where to go,

I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there

Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear

So has it been with mist,—with moonlight so.

Like him who day by day unto his draught

Of delicate poison adds him one drop more

Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,

Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed

Each hour more deeply than the hour before,

I drink—and live—what has destroyed some men.