Edna St. Vincent Millay





Sonnet 176

Grief that is grief and properly so height
Has lodging in the orphaned brain alone,
Whose nest is cold, whose wings are now his own
And thinly feathered for the perchless flight
Between the owl and ermine; overnight
His food is reason, fodder for the grown,
His range is north to famine, south to fright.
When Constant Care was manna to the beak,
And Love Triumphant downed the hovering breast,
Vainly the cuckoo's child might nudge and speak
In ugly whispers to the indignant nest:
How even a feathered heart had power to break,
And thud no more above their huddled rest.