April 14th: "We Talk of Taxes, and I Call You Friend"

I love the combination of cynicism and sincere passion in this one. Compare “Love is not all: it is not meat or drink” by the same author, brought to my attention by alert reader Cecilia Grant.

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We Talk of Taxes, and I Call You Friend
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We talk of taxes, and I call you friend;
Well, such you are,—but well enough we know
How thick about us root, how rankly grow
Those subtle weeds no man has need to tend,
That flourish through neglect, and soon must send
Perfume too sweet upon us and overthrow
Our steady senses; how such matters go
We are aware, and how such matters end.
Yet shall be told no meagre passion here;
With lovers such as we forevermore
Isolde drinks the draught, and Guinevere
Receives the Table’s ruin through her door,
Francesca, with the loud surf at her ear,
Lets fall the colored book upon the floor.

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Do you have a favorite pessimistic poem about the beginning of a relationship? (Yes I realize that’s rather specific, but I bet there are lots of them out there.)

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