An emblem for the text

Selected Poems of
Emily Dickinson

203 (1861)

The thought beneath so slight a film –
Is more distinctly seen –
As laces just reveal the serge –
Or Mists – the Appenine –

1326 (1874)

How many schemes may die
In one short Afternoon
Entirely unknown
To those they most concern –
The man that was not lost
Because by accident
He varied by a Ribbon’s width
From his accustomed route –
The Love that would not try
Because beside the Door
Some unsuspecting Horse was tied
Surveying his Despair

256 (1861)

The Robin’s my Criterion for Tune –
Because I grow – where Robins do –
But, were I Cuckoo born –
I’d swear by him –
The ode familiar – rules the Noon –
The Buttercup’s, my whim for Bloom –
Because, we’re Orchard sprung –
But, were I Britain born,
I’d Daisies spurn –

None but the Nut – October fit –
Because – through dropping it,
The Seasons flit – I’m taught –
Without the Snow’s Tableau
Winter, were lie – to me –
Because I see – New Englandly –
The Queen, discerns like me –
Provincially –

1094 (1865)

We outgrow love, like other things
And put it in the Drawer –
Till it an Antique fashion shows –
Like Costumes Grandsires wore.

1120 (1865)

Gratitude – is not the mention
Of a Tenderness,
But it’s still appreciation
Out of plumb of Speech –

When the Sea return no Answer
By the Line and Lead
Proves it there’s no Sea, or rather
A remoter Bed?

1098 (1865)

The Leaves like Women, interchange
Sagacious Confidence –
Somewhat of Nods and somewhat
Portentous inference –

The Parties in both cases
Enjoining secrecy –
Inviolable compact
To notoriety.

626 (1863)

Undue Significance a starving man attaches
To Food –
Far off – He sighs – and therefore – Hopeless –
And therefore – Good –

Partaken – it relieves – indeed –
But proves us
That Spices fly
In the Receipt – It was the Distance –
Was Savory –

1123 (1866)

Between the form of Life and Life
The difference is as big
As Liquor at the Lip between
And liquor in the Jug
The latter – excellent to keep –
But for extatic need
The corkless is superior –
I know for I have tried

1247 (1872)

We like a Hairbreadth ’scape
It tingles in the Mind
Far after Act or Accident
Like paragraphs of Wind

If we had ventured less
The Breeze were not so fine
That reaches to our utmost Hair
It’s Tentacles divine.

1516 (1879)

One thing of thee I covet –
The power to forget –
The pathos of the Avarice
Defrays the Dross of it –

One thing of thee I borrow
And promise to return –
The Booty and the Sorrow
Thy sweetness to have known –

1352 (1875)

How soft this Prison is
How sweet these sullen bars
No Despot but the King of Down
Invented this repose

Of Fate if this is all
Has he no added Realm
A Dungeon by a Kinsman is
Incarceration – Home.

1503 (1879)

If wrecked opon the Shoal of Thought
How is it with the Sea?
The only Vessel that is shunned
Is safe – Simplicity –

1749 (undated)

By a departing light
We see acuter, quite,
Than by a wick that stays.
There’s something in the flight
That clarifies the sight
And decks the rays

1752 (undated)

God is indeed a jealous God –
He cannot bear to see
That we had rather not with Him
But with each other play.

1689 (undated)

To tell the Beauty would decrease
To state the spell demean
There is a syllableless Sea
Of which it is the sign
My will endeavors for it’s word
And fails, but entertains
A Rapture as of Legacies –
Of introspective mines –

1725 (undated)

If I could tell how glad I was
I should not be so glad –
But when I cannot make the Force
Nor mould it into word
I know it is a sign
That new Dilemma be
From mathematics further off
Than from Eternity

99 (1859)

Low at my problem bending,
Another problem comes –
Larger than mine – serener –
Involving statelier sums.

I check my busy pencil –
My figures file away –
Wherefore, my baffled fingers
Thy perplexity?

889 (1864)

Such is the force of Happiness –
The Least – can lift a ton
Assisted by it’s stimulus –

Who Misery – sustain –
No Sinew can afford –
The Cargo of Themselves –
Too infinite for Consciousness’
Slow capabilities –

124 (1859)

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers –
Untouched by Morning –
And untouched by noon –
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection,
Rafter of Satin and Roof of Stone –

Grand go the Years,
In the Crescent above them –
Worlds scoop their Arcs –
And Firmaments – row –
Diadems – drop –
And Doges – surrender –
Soundless as Dots,
On a Disc of Snow.

143 (1860)

Exultation is the going
Of an inland soul to sea –
Past the Houses –
Past the Headlands –
Into deep Eternity –

430 (1862)

A Charm invests a face
Imperfectly beheld –
The Lady dare not lift her Vail
For fear it be dispelled –

But peers beyond her mesh –
And wishes – and denies –
Lest interview – annul a want
That image – satisfies –

445 (1862)

They shut me up in Prose –
As when a little Girl
They put me in the Closet –
Because they liked me “still” –

Still! Could themselves have peeped –
And seen my Brain – go round –
They might as wise have lodged a Bird
For Treason – in the Pound –

Himself has but to will
And easy as a Star
Look down opon Captivity –
And laugh – No more have I –

499 (1863)

Best Gains – must have the Losses’ test –
To constitute them – Gains.

535 (1863)

It might be lonelier
Without the Loneliness –
I’m so accustomed to my Fate –
Perhaps the Other – Peace –

Would interrupt the Dark –
And crowd the little Room –
Too scant – by Cubits – to contain
The Sacrament – of Him

I am not used to Hope –
It might intrude opon –
It’s sweet parade – blaspheme the place –
Ordained to Suffering –

It might be easier
To fail – with Land in Sight –
Than gain – my Blue Peninsula –
To perish – of Delight –

563 (1863)

The Brain, within it’s Groove
Runs evenly – and true –
But let a Splinter swerve –
’Twere easier for You –

To put a Current back –
When Floods have slit the Hills –
And scooped a Turnpike for Themselves –
And trodden out the Mills –

643 (1863)

A Secret told –
Ceases to be a Secret – then –
A Secret – kept –
That – can appall but One –

Better of it – continual to be afraid –
Than it –
And Whom you told it to – beside –

654 (1863)

Beauty – be not caused – It Is –
Chase it, and it ceases –
Chase it not, and it abides –

Overtake the Creases

In the Meadow – when the Wind
Runs his fingers thro’ it –
Deity will see to it
That You never do it –

663 (1863)

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 –

671 (1863)

The Sweetest Heresy received
That Man and Woman know –
Each other’s Convert –
Though the Faith accommodate but Two –

The Churches are so frequent –
The Ritual – so small –
The Grace so unavoidable –
To fail – is Infidel –

709 (1863)

Me from Myself – to banish –
Had I Art –
Invincible my Fortress
Unto All Heart –

But since Myself – assault Me –
How have I peace
Except by subjugating
And since We’re Mutual Monarch
How this be
Except by Abdication –
Me – of Me – ?

824 (1864)

A nearness to Tremendousness –
An Agony procures –
Affliction ranges Boundlessness –
Vicinity to Laws

Contentment’s quiet Suburb –
Afflication cannot stay
In Acres – It’s Location
Is Illocality –

1614 (1883)

Blossoms run away –
Cakes reign but a Day,
But Memory like Melody,
Is pink eternally –

37 (1858)

By Chivalries as tiny,
A Blossom, or a Book,
The seeds of smiles are planted –
Which blossom in the dark.

1611 (1883)

By homely gifts and hindered words
The human heart is told
Of nothing –
“Nothing” is the force
That renovates the World –

Famous ones

409 (1862)

The Soul selects her own Society –
Then – shuts the Door –
To her divine Majority –
Present no more –

Unmoved – she notes the Chariots – pausing –
At her low Gate –
Unmoved – an Emperor be kneeling
Opon her Mat –

I’ve known her – from an ample nation –
Choose one –
Then – close the Valves of her attention –
Like Stone –

1263 (1872)

Tell all the truth but tell it slant –
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind –

466 (1862)

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 –

339 (1862)

I like a look of Agony,
Because I know it’s true –
Men do not shame Convulsion,
Nor simulate, a Throe –

The eyes glaze once – and that is Death –
Impossible to feign
The Beads opon the Forehead
By homely Anguish strung.

439 (1862)

I had been hungry, all the Years –
My Noon had Come – to dine –
I trembling drew the Table near –
And touched the Curious Wine –

’Twas this on Tables I had seen –
When turning, hungry, Home
I looked in Windows, for the Wealth
I could not hope – for Mine –

I did not know the ample Bread –
’Twas so unlike the Crumb
The Birds and I, had often shared
In Nature’s – Dining Room –

The Plenty hurt me – ’twas so new –
Myself felt ill – and odd –
As Berry – of a Mountain Bush –
Transplanted – to the Road –

Nor was I hungry – so I found
That Hunger – was a way
Of persons Outside Windows –
The entering – takes away –

448 (1862)

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 – Themselves are One –
We Brethren, 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 –

202 (1861)

Faith is a fine invention
For Gentlemen who see!
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency!