Afternoon on a Hill
Edna St. Vincent Millay
I will be the gladdest thing Under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers And not pick one. I will look at cliffs and clouds With quiet eyes, Watch the wind bow down the grass, And the grass rise. And when lights begin to show Up from the town, I will mark which must be mine, And then start down!
I cannot but remember When the year grows old-- October--November-- How she disliked the cold! She used to watch the swallows Go down across the sky, And turn from the window With a little sharp sigh. And often when the brown leaves Were brittle on the ground, And the wind in the chimney Made a melancholy sound, She had a look about her That I wish I could forget-- The look of a scared thing Sitting in a net! Oh, beautiful at nightfall The soft spitting snow! And beautiful the bare boughs Rubbing to and fro! But the roaring of the fire, And the warmth of fur, And the boiling of the kettle Were beautiful to her! I cannot but remember When the year grows old -- October -- November -- How she disliked the cold!
Courtesy Univ of Virginia