Edna St. Vincent Millay


Him not the golden fang of furious heaven,
Nor whirling Aeolus on his awful wheel,
Nor foggy specter ramming the swift keel,
Nor flood, nor earthquake, nor the red tongue even
Of fire, disaster's dog--him, him bereaven
Of all save the heart's knocking, and to feel
The air upon his face: not the great heel
Of headless Force into the dust has driven.
These sunken cities, tier on tier, bespeak
How ever from the ashes with proud beak
And shining feathers did the phoenix rise,
And sail, and send the vulture from the skies . . .
That in the end returned; for Man was weak
Before the unkindness in his brother's eyes.