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We grow accustomed to the Dark —

When Light is put away —

As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp

To Witness her Goodbye —

A Moment-We uncertain step

For newness of the night —

Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —

And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —

Those Evenings of the Bram —

When not a Moon dIsclose a sign —

Or Star — come out — within—

The Bravest — grope a little —

And sometimes hit a Tree

Directly m the Forehead —

But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —

Or something in the sight

Adjusts Itself to Midnight —

And Life steps almost straight.


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


I died for Beauty — but was scarce Adjusted in the Tomb When One who died for Truth, was lain In an adjoining Room —

He questioned softly "Why I failed"? "For Beauty", I replied — "And I — for Truth — Themself are One— We Bretheren, are", He said —

And so, as Kinsmen, met a Night— We talked between the Rooms — Until the Moss had reached our lips— And covered up — our names —


My Life had stood — a Loaded Gun —

In Corners — till a Day

The Owner passed — identified —

And carried Me away —

And now We roam in Sovreign Woods —

And now We hunt the Doe —

And every time I speak for Him

The Mountains straight reply —

And do I smile, such cordial light

Opon the Valley glow —

It is as a Vesuvian face

Had let it’s pleasure through —

And when at Night — Our good Day done —

I guard My Master’s Head —

’Tis better than the Eider Duck’s

Deep Pillow — to have shared —

To foe of His — I’m deadly foe —

None stir the second time —

On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —

Or an emphatic Thumb —

Though I than He — may longer live

He longer must — than I —

For I have but the power to kill,

Without — the power to die —


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 —


I fear a Man of frugal Speech

I fear a Silent Man

Haranguer — I can overtake

Or Babbler — entertain

But He who weigheth — While the Rest

Expend their furthest pound

Of this Man — I am wary —

I fear that He is Grand —


The Bible is an antique Volume Written by faded men At the suggestion of Holy Spectres Subjects — Bethlehem

Eden — the ancient Homestead Satan — the Brigadier Judas — the Great Defaulter David — the Troubadour

Sin — a distinguished Precipice Others must resist Boys that "believe" are very lonesome Other Boys are "lost"

Had but the Tale a warbling Teller All the Boys would come Orpheus' Sermon captivated It did not condemn


From Blank to Blank —

A Threadless Way

I pushed Mechanic feet —

To stop — or perish — or advance —

Alike indifferent —

If end I gained

It ends beyond

Indefinite disclosed —

I shut my eyes — and groped as well

'Twas lighter — to be Blind —


As One does Sickness over

In convalescent Mind,

His scrutiny of Chances

By blessed Health obscured —

As One rewalks a Precipice

And whittles at the Twig

That held Him from Perdition

Sown sidewise in the Crag

A Custom of the Soul

Far after suffering

Identity to question

For evidence 't has been —


"Unto Me?" I do not know you —

Where may be your House'

"I am Jesus — Late of Judea

Now — of Paradise" —

Wagons — have you — to convey me?

This is far from Thence —

"Arms of Mine — sufficient Phaeton —

Trust Omnipotence" —

I am spotted — "I am Pardon" —

I am small — "The Least

Is esteemed m Heaven the Chiefest —

Occupy my House" —


We never know how high we are Till we are called to rise; And then, if we are true to plan, Our statures touch the skies —

The Heroism we recite Would be a daily thing, Did not ourselves the Cubits warp For fear to be a King —


The Treason of an accent

Might Ecstasy transfer —

Of her effacing Fathom

Is no Recoverer —

The Treason of an Accent

Might vilify the Joy —

To breathe — corrode the rapture

Of Sanctity to be —


By homely gift and hindered Words

The human heart is told

Of Nothing —

"Nothing" is the force

That renovates the World


No man saw awe, nor to his house

Admitted he a man

Though by his awful residence

Has human nature been.

Not deeming of his dread abode

Till laboring to flee

A grasp on comprehension laid

Detamed vitality.

Returning is a different route

The Spirit could not show

For breathing is the only work

To be enacted now.

"Am not consumed," old Moses wrote,

"Yet saw him face to face" —

That very physiognomy

I am convinced was this.

Публ. поизд.: The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson by Thomas H. Johnson (Editor) Little, Brown and Company; New edition (January 1, 1960)

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