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Alms

My heart is what it was before, A house where people come and go But it is winter with your love, The sashes are beset with snow. I light the lamp and lay the cloth, I blow the coals to blaze again But it is winter with your love The frost is thick upon the pane I know a winter when it comes The leaves are listless on the boughs; I watched your love a little while And brought my plants into the house. I water them and turned them south, I snap the dead brown from the stem But it is winter with your love, I only tend and water them. There was a time I stood and watched The small ill-natured sparrows' fray I loved the beggar that I fed, I cared for what he had to say. I stood and watched him out of sight; Today I reach around the door And set a bowl upon the step My heart is what it was before. But it is winter with your love; I scatter crumbs upon the sill And close the window - and the birds May take or leave them, as they will.
written by
Edna St. Vincent Millay

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