See how these masses mill and swarm


See how these masses mill and swarm
And troop and muster and assail:
God!–We could keep this planet warm
By friction, if the sun should fail.
Mercury, Saturn, Venus, Mars:
If no prow cuts your arid seas,
Then in your weightless air no wars
Explode with such catastrophes
As rock our planet all but loose
From its frayed mooring to the sun.
Law will not sanction such abuse
Forever; when the mischief’s done,
Planets, rejoice, on which at night
Rains but the twelve-ton meteorite.


His stalk the dark delphinium


His stalk the dark delphinium
Unthorned into the tending hand
Releases. . .  yet that hour will come. . .
And must, in such a spiny land.
The sikly, powdery mignonette
Before these gathering dews are gone
May pierce me–does the rose regret
The day she did her armour on?
In that the foul supplants the fair,
The coarse defeats the twice-refined,
Is food for thought, but not despair:
All will be easier when the mind
To meet the brutal age has grown
An iron cortex of its own.


–Edna St. Vincent Millay