Poetry Friday: “The Little Tavern”

The greatest blessings in grief are fellow travelers on sorrow’s way. Grief makes us feel isolated, misunderstood and alone. However, when we meet others whose lives have also been touched by loss, we discover friendship, hope and understanding. We cannot lessen each other’s loads, but we can gently companion each other on this hard path to which life has called us.

I love Edna St. Vincent Millay’s picture of the little tavern for grey-eyed people. Unlike C.S. Lewis’ wry suggestion of mourners sequestered in a leper colony, Millay’s image of a sorrowing community evokes comfort, warmth and companionship. I hope you find such a place of rest in your own grief journey.

The Little Tavern

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I’ll keep a little tavern
   Below the high hill’s crest,
Wherein all grey-eyed people
   May set them down and rest.

There shall be plates a-plenty,
   And mugs to melt the chill
Of all the grey-eyed people
   Who happen up the hill.

There sound will sleep the traveller,
   And dream his journey’s end,
But I will rouse at midnight
   The falling fire to tend.

Aye, ’tis a curious fancy—
   But all the good I know
Was taught me out of two grey eyes
   A long time ago.

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