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Edna St. Vincent Millay
Conscientious Objector
Article published on 16 December 2003
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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 cinches 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.

See also Howard Zinn, "Artists of Resistance",The Progressive


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