61 Poems of Emily Dickinson

'Tis so much joy! 'Tis so much joy!
A light exists in spring
A precious, mouldering pleasure 'tis
A shady friend for torrid days
A word is dead
As children bid the guest good-night
As far from pity as complaint
Because I could not stop for Death
Come slowly, Eden!
Except the heaven had come so near,
For each ecstatic instant
From cocoon forth a butterfly
He ate and drank the precious words,
Heart, we will forget him!
Hope is a subtle glutton
Hope is the thing with feathers
How happy is the little stone
I bring an unaccustomed wine
I dreaded that first robin so
I had no time to hate, because
I hide myself within my flower
I like a look of agony
I never hear the word 'escape'
I noticed people disappeared
I started early, took my dog
I'm nobody! Who are you?
If I can stop one heart from breaking
Is bliss, then, such abyss
Mine enemy is growing old,
Much madness is divinest sense
My life closed twice before its close
Nature rarer uses yellow
Nature, the gentlest mother,
New feet within my garden go
No rack can torture me
Not with a club the heart is broken
On this wondrous sea
Our share of night to bear
Pain has an element of blank;
Some keep the Sabbath going to church
Some things that fly there be
Soul, wilt thou toss again?
South winds jostle them,
Success is counted sweetest
The bustle in a house
The grass so little has to do
The heart asks pleasure first
The moon was but a chin of gold
The morns are meeker than they were
The robin is the one
The sky is low, the clouds are mean
The wind tapped like a tired man
There is no frigate like a book
To fight aloud is very brave
To hear an oriole sing
To learn the transport by the pain
We learn in the retreating
When night is almost done
Who has not found the heaven below
Wild nights! Wild nights!
Within my reach!
'Tis so much joy! 'Tis so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!   _
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so   _
This side the victory!
Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!   _
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,   _
No drearier can prevail!
And if I gain, - oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,   _
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,   _
And might o'erwhelm me so!
A light exists in spring
Not present on the year   _
At any other period.
When March is scarcely here
A color stands abroad   _
On solitary hills
That science cannot overtake,
But human nature feels.   _
It waits upon the lawn;
It shows the furthest tree
Upon the furthest slope we know;   _
It almost speaks to me.
Then, as horizons step,
Or noons report away,   _
Without the formula of sound,
It passes, and we stay:
A quality of loss   _
Affecting our content,
As trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a sacrament.
A precious, mouldering pleasure 'tis
To meet an antique book,   _
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
His venerable hand to take,   _
And warming in our own,
A passage back, or two, to make
To times when he was young.   _
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,   _
The literature of old;
What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran   _
When Plato was a certainty,
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,   _
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,   _
He traverses familiar,
As one should come to town
And tell you all your dreams were true:   _
He lived where dreams were born.
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;   _
Id volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.
A shady friend for torrid days
Is easier to find.   _
Than one of higher temperature
For frigid hour of mind.
The vane a little to the east   _
Scares muslin souls away;
If broadcloth breasts are firmer
Than those of organdy,   _
Who is to blame? The weaver?
Ah! the bewildering thread!
The tapestries of paradise   _
So notelessly are made!
A word is dead
When it is said,   _
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live   _
That day.
As children bid the guest good-night,
And then reluctant turn,   _
My flowers raise their pretty lips,
Then put their nightgowns on.
As children caper when they wake,   _
Merry that it is morn,
My flowers from a hundred cribs
Will peep, and prance again.
As far from pity as complaint,
As cool to speech as stone,   _
As numb to revelation
As if my trade were bone.
As far from time as history,   _
As near yourself today
As children to the rainbow's scarf,
Or sunset's yellow play   _
To eyelids in the sepulchre,
How still the dancer lies,
While color's revelations break,   _
And blaze the butterflies!
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 played,
Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of grazing grain,   _
We passed the setting sun.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling on the ground;   _
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then 'tis centuries; but each   _
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.
Come slowly, Eden!
Lips unused to thee,   _
Bashful, sip thy jasmines,
As the fainting bee,
Reaching late his flower,   _
Round her chamber hums,
Counts his nectars - enters,
And is lost in balms!
Except the heaven had come so near,
So seemed to choose my door,   _
The distance would not haunt me so;
I had not hoped before.
But just to hear the grace depart   _
I never thought to see,
Afflicts me with a double loss;
'Tis lost, and lost to me.
For each ecstatic instant
We must an anguish pay   _
In keen and quivering ratio
To the ecstasy.
For each beloved hour   _
Sharp pittances of years,
Bitter contested farthings
And coffers heaped with tears.
From cocoon forth a butterfly
As lady from her door   _
Emerged - a summer afternoon
Repairing everywhere,
Without design, that I could trace,   _
Except to stray abroad
On miscellaneous enterprise
The clovers understood.   _
Her pretty parasol was seen
Contracting in a field
Where men made hay, then struggling hard   _
With an opposing cloud,
Where parties, phantom as herself,
To Nowhere seemed to go   _
In purposeless circumference,
As 'twere a tropic show.
And notwithstanding bee that worked,   _
And flower that zealous blew,
This audience of idleness
Disdained them, from the sky,   _
Till sundown crept, a steady tide,
And men that made the hay,
And afternoon, and butterfly,   _
Extinguished in its sea.
He ate and drank the precious words,
His spirit grew robust;   _
He knew no more that he was poor,
Nor that his frame was dust.
He danced along the dingy days,   _
And this bequest of wings
Was but a book. What liberty
A loosened spirit brings!
Heart, we will forget him!
You and I, to-night!   _
You may forget the warmth he gave,
I will forget the light.
When you have done, pray tell me,   _
That I my thoughts may dim;
Haste! lest while you're lagging,
I may remember him!
Hope is a subtle glutton;
He feeds upon the fair;   _
And yet, inspected closely,
What abstinence is there!
His is the halcyon table   _
That never seats but one,
And whatsoever is consumed
The same amounts remain.