Pity Me Not Because the Light of Day

(1991)

"Pity Me Not Because the Light of Day" is the first song in William Bolcom's cycle I Will Breathe a Mountain, which sets the poetry of several American women poets. The cycle is for mezzo-soprano and piano.

Photo: Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1931, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Digital ID: cph 3c09645

Pity Me Not Because the Light of Day

Pity Me Not Because the Light of Day
by Edna St. Vincent Millay


Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man's desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me.
This have I known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at ever turn.


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