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Emily dickinson

Emily Dickinson

POEMS
FOLLOWERS
57

A Death blow is a Life blow to Some
Who till they died, did not alive become—
Who had they lived, had died but when
They died, Vitality begun.

A little East of Jordan,
Evangelists record,
A Gymnast and an Angel
Did wrestle long and hard—

Till morning touching mountain—
And Jacob, waxing strong,
The Angel begged permission
To Breakfast—to return—

Not so, said cunning Jacob!
“I will not let thee go
Except thou bless me”—Stranger!
The which acceded to—

Light swung the silver fleeces
“Peniel” Hills beyond,
And the bewildered Gymnast
Found he had worsted God!

Part One: Life

                     LXIV

HE preached upon “breadth” till it argued him narrow,—
The broad are too broad to define:
And of “truth” until it proclaimed him a liar,—
The truth never flaunted a sign.

Simplicity fled from his counterfeit presence
As gold the pyrites would shun.
What confusion would cover the innocent Jesus
To meet so enabled a man!

I dwell in Possibility –
A fairer House than Prose –
More numerous of Windows –
Superior – for Doors –

Of Chambers as the Cedars –
Impregnable of eye –
And for an everlasting Roof
The Gambrels of the Sky –

Of Visitors – the fairest –
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –

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Part One: Life

             LVI

Faith is a fine invention
For gentlemen who see;
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency!

Part One: Life

Epigram

THIS is my letter to the world,
    That never wrote to me,—
The simple news that Nature told,
    With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
    To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
    Judge tenderly of me!

A slash of Blue—
A sweep of Gray—
Some scarlet patches on the way,
Compose an Evening Sky—
A little purple—slipped between—
Some Ruby Trousers hurried on—
A Wave of Gold—
A Bank of Day—
This just makes out the Morning Sky.

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Part Three: Love

                     XVII

SHE rose to his requirement, dropped
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
Of woman and of wife.

If aught she missed in her new day
Of amplitude, or awe,
Or first prospective, or the gold
In using wore away,

It lay unmentioned, as the sea
Develops pearl and weed,
But only to himself is known
The fathoms they abide.

1

Part Three: Love

             XLIX

WE outgrow love like other things  
   And put it in the drawer,  
Till it an antique fashion shows  
   Like costumes grandsires wore.

A House upon the Height—
That Wagon never reached—
No Dead, were ever carried down—
No Peddler’s Cart—approached—

Whose Chimney never smoked—
Whose Windows—Night and Morn—
Caught Sunrise first—and Sunset—last—
Then—held an Empty Pane—

Whose fate—Conjecture knew—
No other neighbor—did—
And what it was—we never lisped—
Because He—never told—

Part Three: Love

                    XXII

I GAVE myself to him,  
And took himself for pay.
The solemn contract of a life
Was ratified this way.  
  
The wealth might disappoint,          
Myself a poorer prove  
Than this great purchaser suspect,  
The daily own of Love  
  
Depreciate the vision;  
But, till the merchant buy,
Still fable, in the isles of spice,  
The subtle cargoes lie.  
  
At least, ’t is mutual risk,—  
Some found it mutual gain;  
Sweet debt of Life,—each night to owe,
Insolvent, every noon.

Part Four: Time and Eternity

                     XXVII

BECAUSE I could not stop for Death—
He kindly stopped for me—
The Carriage held but just Ourselves—
And Immortality.

We slowly drove—He knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility—

We passed the School, where Children strove
At recess—in the ring—
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain—
We passed the Setting Sun—

Or rather—He passed Us—
The Dews drew quivering and chill—
For only Gossamer, my Gown—
My Tippet—only Tulle—

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground—
The Roof was scarcely visible—
The Cornice—in the Ground—

Since then—'tis centuries—and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity—

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