Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sonnet 87

Fatal Interview
Shall I be prisoner till my pulses stop To hateful Love and drag his noisy chain, And bait my need with sugared crusts that drop From jeweled fingers neither kind nor clean? — Mewed in an airless cavern where a toad Would grieve to snap his gnat and lay him down, While in the light along the rattling road Men shout and chaff and drive their wares to town? . . . Perfidious Prince, that keep me here confined, Doubt not I know the letters of my doom: How many a man has left his blood behind To buy his exit from this mournful room These evil stains record, these walls that rise Carved with his torment, steamy with his sighs.