Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
The Penitent
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
 
From “Figs from Thistles”

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,        5
“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!        10
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        15
  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.        20
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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