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About this Poem 

“I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV)” was published in A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets (Frank Shay, 1920).

I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV)

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 26, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine.

by this poet

poem

Love, though for this you riddle me with darts,
     And drag me at your chariot till I die—
Oh, heavy prince! oh, panderer of hearts!—
     Yet hear me tell how in their throats they lie
Who shout you mighty: thick about my hair,
     Day in, day out, your ominous arrows purr,
Who

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Death devours all lovely things;
  Lesbia with her sparrow
Shares the darkness,—presently
  Every bed is narrow

Unremembered as old rain
  Dries the sheer libation,
And the little petulant hand
  Is an annotation.

After all, my erstwhile dear,
  My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
  Now that
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There was a road ran past our house
Too lovely to explore.
I asked my mother once—she said
That if you followed where it led
It brought you to the milk-man’s door.
(That’s why I have not traveled more.)