I, having loved ever since I was a child a few things, never having
In these affections; never through shyness in the houses of the
rich or in the presence of clergymen having denied these
Never when worked upon by cynics like chiropractors having
grunted or clicked a vertebra to the discredit of those loves;
Never when anxious to land a job having diminished them by a
conniving smile; or when befuddled by drink
Jeered at them through heartache or lazily fondled the fingers of
their alert enemies; declare

That I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied
interests wins the war;
Shall love you always.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem Modern Declaration


  1. Katie says:

    I agree with the above that this poem is a pledge of loyalty, not in the sense of ‘faithfulness’ as we all know millay was not one for being faithful or monagamous.But a fidelity of feeling,of being true to the last in all she felt without regard for consequence.

    This poem reminds me of shakespeare’s “love does not alter when alteration finds or bends with the remover to remove” I think it’s Millays best.

  2. Catherine Warren says:

    She is declaring her ability to love this person forever. As evidence of this, she states that she has shown an allegience to loving other things, and has never wavered. She has stood up against differing pressures that sought to kill her love…she is faithful. Although I liked this poem, I thought something was missing from the ending. Does anyone agree?

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