The Penitent

By Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892–1950
I had a little Sorrow,
      Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
      And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
      And think how bad I've been!"

Alas for pious planning —
      It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
      The lamp might have been lit!
My Little Sorrow would not weep,
My Little Sin would go to sleep —
To save my soul I could not keep
      My graceless mind on it!

So up I got in anger,
      And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my hair
      To please a passing lad.
And, "One thing there's no getting by —
I've been a wicked girl," said I;
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
      I might as well be glad!"


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Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892–1950

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Arts & Sciences, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Men & Women, Humor & Satire

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza