Edna St. Vincent Millay





Small hands, Relinquish all
from Mine the Harvest

Small hands, relinquish all:
Nothing the fist can hold, --
Not power, not love, not gold--
But suffers from the cold,
And is about to fall.

The mind, at length bereft
Of thinking, and its pain,
Will soon disperse again,
And nothing will remain:
No, not a thought be left.

Exhort the closing eye,
Urge the resisting ear
To say, "The thrush is here";
To say, "His song is clear";
To live, before it die.

Small hands, relinquish all:
Nothing the fist can hold,
Not power, not love, not gold,
But suffers from the cold,
And is about to fall.

The mind , at length bereft
Of thinking, and its pain,
Will soon disperse again,
And nothing will remain:
No, not a thought be left.

Only the ardent eye,
Only the listening ear
Can say, "The thrush was here!"
Can say, "His song was clear!"
Can live, before it die.