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Read more poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay: Edna St. Vincent Millay Poems at Poetry X.

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Conscientious Objector

Edna St. Vincent Millay

I shall die, but 
that is all that I shall do for Death.
I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; 
I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.
He is in haste; he has business in Cuba,
business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.
But I will not hold the bridle
while he clinches the girth.
And he may mount by himself: 
I will not give him a leg up. 

Though he flick my shoulders with his whip,
I will not tell him which way the fox ran.
With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where 
the black boy hides in the swamp.
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death;
I am not on his pay-roll. 

I will not tell him the whereabout of my friends 
nor of my enemies either.
Though he promise me much, 
I will not map him the route to any man's door.
Am I a spy in the land of the living,
that I should deliver men to Death?
Brother, the password and the plans of our city 
are safe with me; never through me Shall you be overcome.

Added: 6 Oct 2002 | Last Read: 21 Apr 2018 9:25 AM | Viewed: 11729 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/7312/ | Viewed on 21 April 2018.
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