Sonnet: What Lips My Lips Have Kissed...

(1977)

"Sonnet: What lips my lips have kissed..." is the eleventh movement and sixth solo song of Bernstein's cycle Songfest. The song is for alto and orchestra, but a piano reduction has also been published.

What lips my lips have kissed...
by Edna St. Vincent Millay


What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.


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