Land of Romance (by Edna St. Vincent Millay, age 14)

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Sue Ann Martin

“Show me the road to Romance!” I cried, and he raised
his head;
“I know not the road to Romance, child. ‘Tis a warm
bright way,” he said.
“And I trod it once with whom I loved, – with one
who is long since dead.
But now – I forget, – Ah! The way would be long
without the other one, “
And he lifted a thin and trembling hand, to shield his
eyes from the sun.

“Show me the way to Romance!” I cried, but she did
not stir,
And I heard no sound in the low ceiling’s room save the
spinning-wheel’s busy whirr.
Then came a voice from the down-bent head, from the
lips that I could not see,
“Oh! Why do you seek for romance? And why do
you trouble me?
Little care I for your fancies. They will bring you no
good,” she said.
“Take the wheel that stands in the corner, and get you
to work instead.”

Then came one with steps so light that I had not
heard their tread,
“I know where the road to Romance is. I will show
you,” she said.
She slipped her tiny hand in mine, and smiled up into
my face,
And lo! A ray of the setting sun shone full upon the
A little brook danced adown the hill and the grass
sprang up anew,
And tiny flowers peeped forth as fresh as if newly
washed with dew.

A little breeze came frolicking by, cooling the heated
And the road to romance stretched on before, beckoning,
bright, and fair.
And I knew that just beyond it, in the hush of the
dying day,
The mossy walls and ivied towers of the land of
Romance lay.
The breath of dying lilies haunted the twilight air,
And the sob of a dreaming violin filled the silence

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