Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill
the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood,
nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man
is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. NEW YORK: HARPER, 2011.
Painting: “Idylle” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, oil on canvas, 1853