Poems Emily Dickinson

 

He ate and drank the precious Words – (1587)

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 –

Because I could not stop for Death – (479)

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 –

“Hope” is the thing with feathers – (314)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Success is counted sweetest (112)

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple Host
Who took the Flag today
Can tell the definition
So clear of victory

As he defeated – dying –
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Burst agonized and clear!

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died – (591)

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain – stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Ik stel niets voor! Wie ben jij?

Ik stel niets voor! Wie ben jij?
Stel jij ook weinig voor?
Een stel zijn wij, zo samen – stil!
Verstoten doen ze ons

Wat triest als je wat voorstelt en
Je in het openbaar
Voortdurend voor moet stellen steeds
Aan je bewonderaars

A Bird came down the Walk (328)

A Bird came down the Walk—
He did not know I saw—
He bit an Angleworm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass—
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass—

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all around—
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought—
He stirred his Velvet Head

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home—

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam—
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon
Leap, plashless as they swim.

Hope is the thing with feathers (254)

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

I taste a liquor never brewed (214)

I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Frankfort Berries
Yield such an Alcohol!

Inebriate of air – am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling – thro’ endless summer days –
From inns of molten Blue –

When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies – renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink the more!

Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints – to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the – Sun!

Dear March – Come in – (1320)

Dear March – Come in –
How glad I am –
I hoped for you before –
Put down your Hat –
You must have walked –
How out of Breath you are –
Dear March, how are you, and the Rest –
Did you leave Nature well –
Oh March, Come right upstairs with me –
I have so much to tell –

I got your Letter, and the Birds –
The Maples never knew that you were coming –
I declare – how Red their Faces grew –
But March, forgive me –
And all those Hills you left for me to Hue –
There was no Purple suitable –
You took it all with you –

Who knocks? That April –
Lock the Door –
I will not be pursued –
He stayed away a Year to call
When I am occupied –
But trifles look so trivial
As soon as you have come

That blame is just as dear as Praise
And Praise as mere as Blame –

The Savior must have been a docile Gentleman (1487)

The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman—
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen—

The Road to Bethlehem
Since He and I were Boys
Was leveled, but for that ‘twould be
A rugged Billion Miles—

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain (280)

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My Mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)

A lane of Yellow led the eye
Unto a Purple Wood
Whose soft inhabitants to be
Surpasses solitude
If Bird the silence contradict
Or flower presume to show
In that low summer of the West
Impossible to know –

Besides the Autumn poets sing (131)

Besides the Autumn poets sing,
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze –

A few incisive mornings –
A few Ascetic eves –
Gone – Mr Bryant’s “Golden Rod” –
And Mr Thomson’s “sheaves.”

Still, is the bustle in the brook –
Sealed are the spicy valves –
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The eyes of many Elves –

Perhaps a squirrel may remain –
My sentiments to share –
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind –
Thy windy will to bear!

I cannot live with You (640)

I cannot live with You –
It would be Life –
And Life is over there –
Behind the Shelf

The Sexton keeps the Key to –
Putting up
Our Life – His Porcelain –
Like a Cup –

Discarded of the Housewife –
Quaint – or Broke –
A newer Sevres pleases –
Old Ones crack –

I could not die – with You –
For One must wait
To shut the Other’s Gaze down –
You – could not –

And I – could I stand by
And see You – freeze –
Without my Right of Frost –
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise – with You –
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus’ –
That New Grace

Glow plain – and foreign
On my homesick Eye –
Except that You than He
Shone closer by –

They’d judge Us – How –
For You – served Heaven – You know,
Or sought to –
I could not –

Because You saturated Sight –
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise

And were You lost, I would be –
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame –

And were You – saved –
And I – condemned to be
Where You were not –
That self – were Hell to Me –

So We must meet apart –
You there – I – here –
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are – and Prayer –
And that White Sustenance –
Despair –

The Outlet (162)

My river runs to thee:
Blue sea, wilt welcome me?

My river waits reply.
Oh sea, look graciously!

I’ll fetch thee brooks
From spotted nooks,—

Say, sea,
Take me!

L1230235

The Soul has Bandaged moments (360)

The Soul has Bandaged moments –
When too appalled to stir –
She feels some ghastly Fright come up
And stop to look at her –

Salute her, with long fingers –
Caress her freezing hair –
Sip, Goblin, from the very lips
The Lover – hovered – o’er –

Unworthy, that a thought so mean
Accost a Theme – so – fair –

The soul has moments of escape –
When bursting all the doors –
She dances like a Bomb, abroad,
And swings upon the Hours,

As do the Bee – delirious borne –
Long Dungeoned from his Rose –
Touch Liberty – then know no more,
But Noon, and Paradise –

The Soul’s retaken moments –
When, Felon led along,
With shackles on the plumed feet,
And staples, in the song,

The Horror welcomes her, again,
These, are not brayed of Tongue –

 

I heard a Fly buzz (465)

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portions of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

Fame is a fickle food (1659)

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set.

Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the Farmer’s Corn –
Men eat of it and die.

There’s a certain Slant of light (258)

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ‘tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

I measure every Grief I meet (561)

I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long –
Or did it just begin –
I could not tell the Date of Mine –
It feels so old a pain –

I wonder if it hurts to live –
And if They have to try –
And whether – could They choose between –
It would not be – to die –

I note that Some – gone patient long –
At length, renew their smile –
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil –

I wonder if when Years have piled –
Some Thousands – on the Harm –
That hurt them early – such a lapse
Could give them any Balm –

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve –
Enlightened to a larger Pain –
In Contrast with the Love –

The Grieved – are many – I am told –
There is the various Cause –
Death – is but one – and comes but once –
And only nails the eyes –

There’s Grief of Want – and grief of Cold –
A sort they call “Despair” –
There’s Banishment from native Eyes –
In sight of Native Air –

And though I may not guess the kind –
Correctly – yet to me
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –

To note the fashions – of the Cross –
And how they’re mostly worn –
Still fascinated to presume
That Some – are like my own –

The Soul unto itself (683)

The Soul unto itself
Is an imperial friend  –
Or the most agonizing Spy  –
An Enemy  –  could send  –

Secure against its own  –
No treason it can fear  –
Itself  –  its Sovereign  –  of itself
The Soul should stand in Awe  –

A Day

I’ll tell you how the sun rose, —
A ribbon at a time.
The steeples swam in amethyst,
The news like squirrels ran.

The hills untied their bonnets,
The bobolinks begun.
Then I said softly to myself,
“That must have been the sun!”

But how he set, I know not.
There seemed a purple stile
Which little yellow boys and girls
Were climbing all the while

Till when they reached the other side,
A dominie in gray
Put gently up the evening bars,
And led the flock away.

There is no frigate like a book (1263)

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

 

It’s all I have to bring today (26)

It’s all I have to bring today—
This, and my heart beside—
This, and my heart, and all the fields—
And all the meadows wide—
Be sure you count—should I forget
Some one the sum could tell—
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the Clover dwell.

 

It was not Death, for I stood up (510)

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down—
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Sirocos—crawl—
Nor Fire—for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool—

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine—

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And ‘twas like Midnight, some—

When everything that ticked—has stopped—
And Space stares all around—
Or Grisly frosts—first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground—

But, most, like Chaos—Stopless—cool—
Without a Chance, or Spar—
Or even a Report of Land—
To justify—Despair.

A Drop fell on the Apple Tree (794)

A Drop fell on the Apple Tree –
Another – on the Roof –
A Half a Dozen kissed the Eaves –
And made the Gables laugh –

A few went out to help the Brook
That went to help the Sea –
Myself Conjectured were they Pearls –
What Necklaces could be –

The Dust replaced, in Hoisted Roads –
The Birds jocoser sung –
The Sunshine threw his Hat away –
The Bushes – spangles flung –

The Breezes brought dejected Lutes –
And bathed them in the Glee –
The Orient showed a single Flag,
And signed the fête away –

My life closed twice before its close (96)

My life closed twice before its close—
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me

So huge, so hopeless to conceive
As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell.

Two Butterflies went out at Noon— (533)

Two Butterflies went out at Noon—
And waltzed above a Farm—
Then stepped straight through the Firmament
And rested on a Beam—

And then—together bore away
Upon a shining Sea—
Though never yet, in any Port—
Their coming mentioned—be—

If spoken by the distant Bird—
If met in Ether Sea
By Frigate, or by Merchantman—
No notice—was—to me—

 

I could suffice for Him, I knew (643)

I could suffice for Him, I knew—
He—could suffice for Me—
Yet Hesitating Fractions—Both
Surveyed Infinity—

“Would I be Whole” He sudden broached—
My syllable rebelled—
‘Twas face to face with Nature—forced—
‘Twas face to face with God—

Withdrew the Sun—to Other Wests—
Withdrew the furthest Star
Before Decision—stooped to speech—
And then—be audibler

The Answer of the Sea unto
The Motion of the Moon—
Herself adjust Her Tides—unto—
Could I—do else—with Mine?

I like to see it lap the Miles (43)

I like to see it lap the Miles,
And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks;
And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains,
And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads;
And then a quarry pare

To fit its sides, and crawl between,
Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza;
Then chase itself down hill

And neigh like Boanerges;
Then, punctual as a star,
Stop—docile and omnipotent—
At its own stable door.

One Sister have I in our house (14)

One Sister have I in our house –
And one a hedge away.
There’s only one recorded,
But both belong to me.

One came the way that I came –
And wore my past year’s gown –
The other as a bird her nest,
Builded our hearts among.

She did not sing as we did –
It was a different tune –
Herself to her a Music
As Bumble-bee of June.

Today is far from Childhood –
But up and down the hills
I held her hand the tighter –
Which shortened all the miles –

And still her hum
The years among,
Deceives the Butterfly;
Still in her Eye
The Violets lie
Mouldered this many May.

I spilt the dew –
But took the morn, –
I chose this single star
From out the wide night’s numbers –
Sue – forevermore!

A Man may make a Remark (952)

A Man may make a Remark –
In itself – a quiet thing
That may furnish the Fuse unto a Spark
In dormant nature – lain –

Let us divide – with skill –
Let us discourse – with care –
Powder exists in Charcoal –
Before it exists in Fire –

It sifts from Leaden Sieves – (311)

It sifts from Leaden Sieves –
It powders all the Wood.
It fills with Alabaster Wool
The Wrinkles of the Road –

It makes an Even Face
Of Mountain, and of Plain –
Unbroken Forehead from the East
Unto the East again –

It reaches to the Fence –
It wraps it Rail by Rail
Till it is lost in Fleeces –
It deals Celestial Vail

To Stump, and Stack – and Stem –
A Summer’s empty Room –
Acres of Joints, where Harvests were,
Recordless, but for them –

It Ruffles Wrists of Posts
As Ankles of a Queen –
Then stills its Artisans – like Ghosts –
Denying they have been –

The Soul selects her own Society (303)

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
Upon her Mat —

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

We never know how high we are (1176)

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—

Color – Caste – Denomination – (970)

Color – Caste – Denomination –
These – are Time’s Affair –
Death’s diviner Classifying
Does not know they are –

As in sleep – all Hue forgotten –
Tenets – put behind –
Death’s large – Democratic fingers
Rub away the Brand –

If Circassian – He is careless –
If He put away
Chrysalis of Blonde – or Umber –
Equal Butterfly –

They emerge from His Obscuring –
What Death – knows so well –
Our minuter intuitions –
Deem unplausible

Luck is not chance (1350)

Luck is not chance—
It’s Toil—
Fortune’s expensive smile
Is earned—
The Father of the Mine
Is that old-fashioned Coin
We spurned—

Come Slowly—Eden (211)

Come slowly—Eden
Lips unused to Thee—
Bashful—sip thy Jessamines
As the fainting Bee—

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums—
Counts his nectars—
Enters—and is lost in Balms.

The Savior must have been a docile Gentleman (1487)

The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman—
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen—

The Road to Bethlehem
Since He and I were Boys
Was leveled, but for that ‘twould be
A rugged Billion Miles—

One day is there of the series

One day is there of the series
Termed “Thanksgiving Day”
Celebrated part at table
Part in memory –
Neither Ancestor nor Urchin
I review the Play –
Seems it to my Hooded thinking
Reflex Holiday
Had There been no sharp subtraction
From the early Sum –
Not an acre or a Caption
Where was once a Room
Not a mention whose small Pebble
Wrinkled any Sea,
Unto such, were such Assembly,
‘Twere “Thanksgiving day” –

Knows how to forget! (433)

Knows how to forget!
But could It teach it?
Easiest of Arts, they say
When one learn how

Dull Hearts have died
In the Acquisition
Sacrificed for Science
Is common, though, now —

I went to School
But was not wiser
Globe did not teach it
Nor Logarithm Show

“How to forget”!
Say — some — Philosopher!
Ah, to be erudite
Enough to know!

Is it in a Book?
So, I could buy it —
Is it like a Planet?
Telescopes would know —

If it be invention
It must have a Patent.
Rabbi of the Wise Book
Don’t you know?

I tie my Hat—I crease my Shawl (443)

I tie my Hat—I crease my Shawl—
Life’s little duties do—precisely—
As the very least
Were infinite—to me—

I put new Blossoms in the Glass—
And throw the old—away—
I push a petal from my gown
That anchored there—I weigh
The time ‘twill be till six o’clock
I have so much to do—
And yet—Existence—some way back—
Stopped—struck—my ticking—through—
We cannot put Ourself away
As a completed Man
Or Woman—When the Errand’s done
We came to Flesh—upon—
There may be—Miles on Miles of Nought—
Of Action—sicker far—
To simulate—is stinging work—
To cover what we are
From Science—and from Surgery—
Too Telescopic Eyes
To bear on us unshaded—
For their—sake—not for Ours—
Twould start them—
We—could tremble—
But since we got a Bomb—
And held it in our Bosom—
Nay—Hold it—it is calm—

Therefore—we do life’s labor—
Though life’s Reward—be done—
With scrupulous exactness—
To hold our Senses—on—

Like Brooms of Steel (1252)

Like Brooms of Steel
The Snow and Wind
Had swept the Winter Street –
The House was hooked
The Sun sent out
Faint Deputies of Heat –
Where rode the Bird
The Silence tied
His ample – plodding Steed
The Apple in the Cellar snug
Was all the one that played.

Winter is good – his Hoar Delights (1316)

Winter is good – his Hoar Delights
Italic flavor yield –
To Intellects inebriate
With Summer, or the World –

Generic as a Quarry
And hearty – as a Rose –
Invited with asperity
But welcome when he goes.

Wild nights – Wild nights! (269)

Wild nights – Wild nights!
Were I with thee
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a Heart in port –
Done with the Compass –
Done with the Chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah – the Sea!
Might I but moor – tonight –
In thee!

If I should die (54)

If I should die,
And you should live,
And time should gurgle on,
And morn should beam,
And noon should burn,
As it has usual done;
If birds should build as early,
And bees as bustling go,—
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
’T is sweet to know that stocks will stand
When we with daisies lie,
That commerce will continue,
And trades as briskly fly.
It makes the parting tranquil
And keeps the soul serene,
That gentlemen so sprightly
Conduct the pleasing scene!

The Bustle in a House (1108)

The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity –

It was not Death, for I stood up, (355)

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down –
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos – crawl –
Nor Fire – for just my marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool –

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial
Reminded me, of mine –

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And ’twas like Midnight, some –

When everything that ticked – has stopped –
And space stares – all around –
Or Grisly frosts – first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground –

But most, like Chaos – Stopless – cool –
Without a Chance, or spar –
Or even a Report of Land –
To justify – Despair.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes – (372)

After great pain, a formal feeling comes –
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions ‘was it He, that bore,’
And ‘Yesterday, or Centuries before’?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

Nach grossem Schmerz kommt eine leere Stimmung auf –
Die Nerven ruhen feierlich wie Mausoleen-
Das starre Herz fragt, war das Er, das lästige Mensch,
Und war es gestern oder Jahrhunderte vorher?

Die Füsse gehn mechanisch im Kreis –
Füsse aus Erde oder Luft oder aus Nichts-
Auf einem stumpfen Pfad,
Gewachsen unbeachtet-
Zufriedenheit, kristallisch, wie ein Stein –

Das ist die Stunde der Erneuerung –
Unvergesslich, wenn überlebt
Wie fröstelnde Menschen sich des Schrecks erinnern-
Erst Kälte – dann Erstarrung – dann das Loslassen.

Before I got my eye put out – (336)

Before I got my eye put out –
I liked as well to see
As other creatures, that have eyes –
And know no other way –

But were it told to me, Today,
That I might have the Sky
For mine, I tell you that my Heart
Would split, for size of me –

The Meadows – mine –
The Mountains – mine –
All Forests – Stintless stars –
As much of noon, as I could take –
Between my finite eyes –

The Motions of the Dipping Birds –
The Morning’s Amber Road –
For mine – to look at when I liked,
The news would strike me dead –

So safer – guess – with just my soul
Upon the window pane
Where other creatures put their eyes –
Incautious – of the Sun –

Crumbling is not an instant’s Act (1010)

Crumbling is not an instant’s Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation’s processes
Are organized Decays —

‘Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust —

Ruin is formal — Devil’s work
Consecutive and slow —
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping — is Crashe’s law —

All overgrown by cunning moss, (146)

All overgrown by cunning moss,
All interspersed with weed,
The little cage of “Currer Bell”
In quiet “Haworth” laid.

This Bird – observing others
When frosts too sharp became
Retire to other latitudes –
Quietly did the same –

But differed in returning –
Since Yorkshire hills are green –
Yet not in all the nests I meet –
Can Nightingale be seen –

A Bird, came down the Walk – (359)

A Bird, came down the Walk –
He did not know I saw –
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw,

And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass –
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass –

He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad –
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. –

Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers,
And rowed him softer Home –

Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, plashless as they swim.

“Faith” is fine invention (202)

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

Banish Air from Air – (963)

Banish Air from Air –
Divide Light if you dare –
They’ll meet
While Cubes in a Drop
Or Pellets of Shape
Fit –
Films cannot annul
Odors return whole
Force Flame
And with a Blonde push
Over your impotence
Flits Steam.

Fame is a bee (1788)

Fame is a bee.
It has a song—
It has a sting—
Ah, too, it has a wing.

Come slowly – Eden! (205)

Come slowly – Eden!
Lips unused to Thee –
Bashful – sip thy Jessamines –
As the fainting Bee –

Reaching late his flower,
Round her chamber hums –
Counts his nectars –
Enters – and is lost in Balms.

Fame is a fickle food (1702)

Fame is a fickle food
Upon a shifting plate
Whose table once a
Guest but not
The second time is set
Whose crumbs the crows inspect
And with ironic caw
Flap past it to the
Farmer’s corn
Men eat of it and die

Fame is the one that does not stay — (1507)

Fame is the one that does not stay —
It’s occupant must die
Or out of sight of estimate
Ascend incessantly —
Or be that most insolvent thing
A Lightning in the Germ —
Electrical the embryo
But we demand the Flame

Forever – is composed of Nows – (690)

Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –

From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –

Without Debate – or Pause –
Or Celebrated Days –
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Dominies –

Glass was the Street – in Tinsel Peril (1518)

Glass was the Street – in Tinsel Peril
Tree and Traveller stood.
Filled was the Air with merry venture
Hearty with Boys the Road.

Shot the lithe Sleds like Shod vibrations
Emphacized and gone
It is the Past’s supreme italic
Makes the Present mean –

How many times these low feet staggered (238)

How many times these low feet staggered –
Only the soldered mouth can tell –
Try – can you stir the awful rivet –
Try – can you lift the hasps of steel!

Stroke the cool forehead – hot so often –
Lift – if you care – the listless hair –
Handle the adamantine fingers
Never a thimble – more – shall wear –

Buzz the dull flies – on the chamber window –
Brave – shines the sun through the freckled pane –
Fearless – the cobweb swings from the ceiling –
Indolent Housewife – in Daisies – lain!

I dwell in Possibility – (466)

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 –

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340)

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

I know that He exists. (365)

I know that He exists.
Somewhere – in silence –
He has hid his rare life
From our gross eyes.

’Tis an instant’s play –
’Tis a fond Ambush –
Just to make Bliss
Earn her own surprise!

But – should the play
Prove piercing earnest –
Should the glee – glaze –
In Death’s – stiff – stare –

Would not the fun
Look too expensive!
Would not the jest –
Have crawled too far!

I like to see it lap the Miles – (383)

I like to see it lap the Miles –
And lick the Valleys up –
And stop to feed itself at Tanks –
And then – prodigious step

Around a Pile of Mountains –
And supercilious peer
In Shanties – by the sides of Roads –
And then a Quarry pare

To fit it’s sides
And crawl between
Complaining all the while
In horrid – hooting stanza –
Then chase itself down Hill –

And neigh like Boanerges –
Then – prompter than a Star
Stop – docile and omnipotent
At it’s own stable door –

I never hear that one is dead (1325)

I never hear that one is dead
Without the chance of Life
Afresh annihilating me
That mightiest Belief,

Too mighty for the Daily mind
That tilling it’s abyss,
Had Madness, had it once or, Twice
The yawning Consciousness,

Beliefs are Bandaged, like the Tongue
When Terror were it told
In any Tone commensurate
Would strike us instant Dead –

I do not know the man so bold
He dare in lonely Place
That awful stranger – Consciousness
Deliberately face –

I never hear the word “Escape” (144)

I never hear the word “Escape”
Without a quicker blood,
A sudden expectation –
A flying attitude!

I never hear of prisons broad
By soldiers battered down,
But I tug childish at my bars
Only to fail again!

I started Early – Took my Dog – (656)

I started Early – Took my Dog –
And visited the Sea –
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me –

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands –
Presuming Me to be a Mouse –
Aground – opon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Boddice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –
As wholly as a Dew
Opon a Dandelion’s Sleeve –
And then – I started – too –

And He – He followed – close behind –
I felt His Silver Heel
Opon my Ancle – Then My Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –
No One He seemed to know –
And bowing – with a Mighty look –
At me – The Sea withdrew –

 

I would not paint — a picture — (348)

I would not paint — a picture —
I’d rather be the One
It’s bright impossibility
To dwell — delicious — on —
And wonder how the fingers feel
Whose rare — celestial — stir —
Evokes so sweet a torment —
Such sumptuous — Despair —

I would not talk, like Cornets —
I’d rather be the One
Raised softly to the Ceilings —
And out, and easy on —
Through Villages of Ether —
Myself endued Balloon
By but a lip of Metal —
The pier to my Pontoon —

Nor would I be a Poet —
It’s finer — Own the Ear —
Enamored — impotent — content —
The License to revere,
A privilege so awful
What would the Dower be,
Had I the Art to stun myself
With Bolts — of Melody!

In this short Life that only lasts an hour (1292)

In this short Life that only lasts an hour
How much – how little – is within our power

Mine – by the Right of the White Election! (411)

Mine – by the Right of the White Election!

Mine – by the Royal Seal!

Mine – by the sign in the Scarlet prison –

Bars – cannot conceal!

Mine – here – in Vision – and in Veto!

Mine – by the Grave’s Repeal –

Titled – Confirmed –

Delirious Charter!

Mine – long as Ages steal!

Let me not thirst with this Hock at my Lip

Let me not thirst with this Hock at my Lip,
Nor beg, with domains in my pocket

The Moon is distant from the Sea – (387)

The Moon is distant from the Sea –
And yet, with Amber Hands –
She leads Him – docile as a Boy –
Along appointed Sands –

He never misses a Degree –
Obedient to Her eye –
He comes just so far – toward the Town –
Just so far – goes away –

Oh, Signor, Thine, the Amber Hand –
And mine – the distant Sea –
Obedient to the least command
Thine eye impose on me –

The morns are meeker than they were – (32)

The morns are meeker than they were –
The nuts are getting brown –
The berry’s cheek is plumper –
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf –
The field a scarlet gown –
Lest I sh’d be old-fashioned
I’ll put a trinket on.

Much Madness is divinest Sense – (620)

Much Madness is divinest Sense –
To a discerning Eye –
Much Sense – the starkest Madness –
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail –
Assent – and you are sane –
Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –
And handled with a Chain –

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants – (1350)

The Mushroom is the Elf of Plants –
At Evening, it is not
At Morning, in a Truffled Hut
It stop opon a Spot

As if it tarried always
And yet it’s whole Career
Is shorter than a Snake’s Delay –
And fleeter than a Tare –

’Tis Vegetation’s Juggler –
The Germ of Alibi –
Doth like a Bubble antedate
And like a Bubble, hie –

I feel as if the Grass was pleased
To have it intermit –
This surreptitious Scion
Of Summer’s circumspect.

Had Nature any supple Face
Or could she one contemn –
Had Nature an Apostate –
That Mushroom – it is Him!

My Life had stood – a Loaded Gun (764)

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 –

A narrow Fellow in the Grass (1096)

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides –
You may have met him? Did you not
His notice instant is –

The Grass divides as with a Comb,
A spotted Shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your Feet
And opens further on –

He likes a Boggy Acre –
A Floor too cool for Corn –
But when a Boy and Barefoot
I more than once at Noon

Have passed I thought a Whip Lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled And was gone –

Several of Nature’s People
I know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of Cordiality

But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And Zero at the Bone.

A not admitting of the wound (1188)

A not admitting of the wound
Until it grew so wide
That all my Life had entered it
And there were troughs beside –

A closing of the simple lid that opened to the sun
Until the tender Carpenter
Perpetual nail it down –

Now I knew I lost her — (1274)

Now I knew I lost her —
Not that she was gone —
But Remoteness travelled
On her Face and Tongue.

Alien, though adjoining
As a Foreign Race —
Traversed she though pausing
Latitudeless Place.

Elements Unaltered —
Universe the same
But Love’s transmigration —
Somehow this had come —

Henceforth to remember
Nature took the Day
I had paid so much for —
His is Penury
Not who toils for Freedom
Or for Family
But the Restitution
Of Idolatry.

Of Glory not a Beam is left (1685)

Of Glory not a Beam is left
But her Eternal House –
The Asterisk is for the Dead,
The Living, for the Stars –

The Poets light but Lamps — (930)

The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light

Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens
Disseminating their
Circumference —

The Props assist the House (729)

The Props assist the House
Until the House is built
And then the Props withdraw
And adequate, erect,
The House support itself
And cease to recollect
The Augur and the Carpenter –
Just such a retrospect
Hath the perfected Life –
A Past of Plank and Nail
And slowness – then the scaffolds drop
Affirming it a Soul –

Publication – is the Auction (788)

Publication – is the Auction
Of the Mind of Man –
Poverty – be justifying
For so foul a thing

Possibly – but We – would rather
From Our Garret go
White – unto the White Creator –
Than invest – Our Snow –

Thought belong to Him who gave it –
Then – to Him Who bear
It’s Corporeal illustration – sell
The Royal Air –

In the Parcel – Be the Merchant
Of the Heavenly Grace –
But reduce no Human Spirit
To Disgrace of Price –

A Route of Evanescence, (1489)

A Route of Evanescence,
With a revolving Wheel –
A Resonance of Emerald
A Rush of Cochineal –
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts it’s tumbled Head –
The Mail from Tunis – probably,
An easy Morning’s Ride –

Snow flakes (45)

I counted till they danced so
Their slippers leaped the town –
And then I took a pencil
To note the rebels down –
And then they grew so jolly
I did resign the prig –
And ten of my once stately toes
Are marshalled for a jig!

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church – (236)

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church –
I keep it, staying at Home –
With a Bobolink for a Chorister –
And an Orchard, for a Dome –

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice –
I, just wear my Wings –
And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,
Our little Sexton – sings.

God preaches, a noted Clergyman –
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last –
I’m going, all along.

The Soul has Bandaged moments – (360)

The Soul has Bandaged moments –
When too appalled to stir –
She feels some ghastly Fright come up
And stop to look at her –

Salute her, with long fingers –
Caress her freezing hair –
Sip, Goblin, from the very lips
The Lover – hovered – o’er –
Unworthy, that a thought so mean
Accost a Theme – so – fair –

The soul has moments of escape –
When bursting all the doors –
She dances like a Bomb, abroad,
And swings opon the Hours,

As do the Bee – delirious borne –
Long Dungeoned from his Rose –
Touch Liberty – then know no more –
But Noon, and Paradise

The Soul’s retaken moments –
When, Felon led along,
With shackles on the plumed feet,
And staples, in the song,

The Horror welcomes her, again,
These, are not brayed of Tongue –

Surgeons must be very careful (156)

Surgeons must be very careful
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions
Stirs the Culprit – Life!

There is no Frigate like a Book (1286)

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

There’s a certain Slant of light (320)

There’s a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference –
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
‘Tis the seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, ‘tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

This World is not Conclusion (373)

This World is not Conclusion.
A Species stands beyond –
Invisible, as Music –
But positive, as Sound –
It beckons, and it baffles –
Philosophy, dont know –
And through a Riddle, at the last –
Sagacity, must go –
To guess it, puzzles scholars –
To gain it, Men have borne
Contempt of Generations
And Crucifixion, shown –
Faith slips – and laughs, and rallies –
Blushes, if any see –
Plucks at a twig of Evidence –
And asks a Vane, the way –
Much Gesture, from the Pulpit –
Strong Hallelujahs roll –
Narcotics cannot still the Tooth
That nibbles at the soul –

To fight aloud is very brave – (138)

To fight aloud, is very brave –
But gallanter, I know
Who charge within the bosom
The Calvalry of Wo –

Who win, and nations do not see –
Who fall – and none observe –
Whose dying eyes, no Country
Regards with patriot love –

We trust, in plumed procession
For such, the Angels go –
Rank after Rank, with even feet –
And Uniforms of snow.

You left me – Sire – two Legacies – (713)
You left me – Sire – two Legacies –
A Legacy of Love
A Heavenly Father would suffice
Had He the offer of –

You left me Boundaries of Pain –
Capacious as the Sea –
Between Eternity and Time –
Your Consciousness – and me –

 

They shut me up in Prose (613)

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
Abolish his Captivity –
And laugh – No more have I –

 

Sie schlossen mich in Prosa ein –
Wie sie als kleines Kind
Mich in den Wandschrank sperrten
Denn sie wollten mich ,still’ –

Still! Ein Blick – in mein Wirbelhirn –
Hatte sie schnell belehrt –
Grad so schlau setzt man für Hochverrat
Einen Vogel – in den Pferch –

Er braucht es nur zu wollen
Und einfach wie ein Stern
Hat er den Kerker abgeschafft
Und lacht – Ich machs wie er –

I dwell in Possibility – (657)

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

 

Ich wohne in der Möglichkeit –
Ein schöneres Haus als Prosa
Besser bestückt mit Fenstern
An Türen – unerreichbar –

An Zimmern hoch wie Zedern –
Von Augen undurchdrungen –
Und als ein Dach das Ewig währt
Des Himmels Giebelschwung –

An Gästen – nur die schönsten –
Als Beschäftigung – nur Dies –
Die schmalen Hände weit gespreizt
Zum Griff ins Paradies

To see the Summer Sky (1472)

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie –
True Poems flee –

Den Sommerhimmel sehn,
Und steht es auch in keinem Buch, ist Poesie
Wahre Gedichte fliehn –

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee (1755)

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone wiU do,
If bees are few.

Für eine Prairie braucht man eine Biene, einen Klee,
Eine Biene, einen Klee,
Und Träumerei.
Wenn Bienen knapp sind, tut es auch
Träumerei allein.

I shall keep singing! (250)

I shall keep singing!
Birds will pass me
On their way to Yellower dimes
Each – with a Robins expectation
I – with my Redbreast –
And my Rhymes –

Late – when I take my place in summer
But – I shall bring a fuller tune
Vespers – are sweeter than Matins – Signer
Morning – only the seed of Noon

Ich will weiter singen!
Vogel werden mich überholen
Nach Gelberen Gegenden reisend
Jeder – mit seinem Drosselhoffen –
Ich – mit meinem Rotkehlchen –
Und meinen Reimen –

Spat – find ich meinen Platz im Sommer –
Doch – ich bringe volleren Klang –
Vesper – ist süsser – Signor – als das Frühlied
Morgen – nur des Mittags Saat

Split the Lark – and you’ll find the Music – (861)

Split the Lark – and you’ll find the Music –
Bulb after Bulb. in Silver rolled –
Scantily dealt to the Summer Morning
Saved for your Ear when Lutes be old.

Loose the Flood – you shall. find it patent –
Gush after Gush, reserved for you –
Scarlet Experiment! Sceptic Thomas!
Now, do you doubt that your Bird was true?

Spalte die Lerche – du findest die Tone
Knolle um Knolle, Silbern geballt
Sparsam verteilt an die Sommermorgen
Bewahrt für dein Ohr wenn die Laute verhallt.

Löse die Flut – klaffend siehst du sie liegen –
Schwall um Schwall, nur für dich reserviert –
Purpurne Probe! Ungläubiger Thomas!
Der Vogel war echt, ist dein Zweifel kuriert?

The Poets light but Lamps (883)

The Poets light but Lamps
Themselves – go out –
The Wicks they stimulate
If vital Light

Inhere as do the Suns –
Each Age a Lens
Disseminating their
Circumference –

Dichter zünden Lampen an
Sie selbst – vergehn –
Dochte die sie entflammen
Wenn ihr Licht lebt

Bestehn wie Sonnen –
Linse wird jede Zeit
Die überallhin
Ihren Lichtkreis streut

He ate and drank the precious Words (1587)

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

Er ass und trank kostbares Wort –
Seine Seele wuchs sich stark –
Er vergass wie karg sein Leben war,
Und dass sein Leib aus Staub –

Er tanzte durch den trüben Tag
Dies Geflügelte Vermächtnis
War bloss ein Buch – Wie Frei macht uns
Ein freigelassener Geist

There is no Frigate like a Book (1263)

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human soul.

Keine Fregatte wie ein Buch
Entführt uns Länderweit
Kein Rennpferd springt und prunkt
Wie ein Blatt Poesie –
Den Ärmsten ohne schwere Maut
Steht die Passage frei –
Wahrhaft frugal ist das Gefährt
Das des Menschen Seele tragt.

A word is dead (1212)

A word is dead
When it is said,
Some say.

I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

Gesagtes Wort
Stirbt sofort
Sagt man.

Ich sag an jenem Tag
Fängt erst
Sein Leben an.

Could mortal lip divine (1409)

Could mortal lip divine
The undeveloped Freight
Of a delivered syllable
‘Twould crumble with the weight.

Ahnte je sterbliche Lippe
Die zukünftige Wucht
Einer entbundenen Silbe
Sie zerbräche an dem Gewicht.

The words the happy say (1750)

The words the happy say
Are paltry melody
But those the silent feel
Are beautiful

Worte von Glücklichen gesagt
Dürftige Melodien
Doch Worte von Schweigenden gefühlt
Sind schön –

Embarrassment of one another (662)

Embarrassment of one another
And God
Is Revelation’s limit,
Aloud
Is nothing that is chief,
But still,
Divinity dwells under seal.

Befangenheit vor einander
Und Gott
Ist die Grenze der Offenbarung,
Laut
Ist nichts Höchstes,
Sondern still,
Gottheit lebt unterm Siegel.

Silence is all we dread (1251)

Silence is all we dread.
There’s Ransom in a Voice
But Silence is Infinity.
Himself have not a face.

Nur Stille macht uns Angst.
Ein einziges Wort Erlöst –
Doch Stille ist Unendlichkeit.
Sie Selbst hat kein Gesicht

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant (1129)

Tell all the Truth but tell it slant –
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise

As Lightening to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind –

Sag Wahrheit ganz doch sag sie schief
Der Umweg bringt Gewinn
Zu hell reisst unsere schwache Lust
Ihr prächtiger Ausbruch hin

Wie man den Blitzschlag Kindern
Besänftigend erklärt
Schön sacht muss Wahrheit blenden
Blind wird sonst alle Welt –

Essential Oils – are wrung (675)

Essential Oils – are wrung –
The Attar from the Rose
Be not expressed by Suns – alone
It is the gift of Screws –

The General Rose – decay –
But this – in Lady’s Drawer
Make Summer – When the Lady lie
In Ceaseless Rosemary

Ätherische Öle – sind gepresst –
Ist doch Essenz der Rosen
Ausdruck von Sonnen – nicht allein
Auch ein Geschenk van Schrauben –

Die Allgemeine Rose – welkt –
Doch sie – im Boudoir
Macht Sommer – Wenn die Dame la4ngst
Auf Rosmarin gebahrt –

Fame of Myself, to justify (713)

Fame of Myself, to justify,
All other Plaudit be
Superfluous – An Incense
Beyond Necessity –

Fame of Myself to lack – Although
My Name be else Supreme –
This were an Honor honorless
A futile Diadem –

Ruhm aus Mir Selbst, als Rechenschaft,
Sonstiger Beifall wäre
Mir ein Zuviel – Ein Weihrauch
Weit über den Bedarf –

Ruhmlos in Mir – Und stünde auch
Mein Name Eminent –
Wär eine Ehrung die entehrt
Nichtiges Diadem –

Some – Work for Immortality (406)

Some – Work for Immortality –
The Chiefer part, for Time –
He – Compensates – immediately
The former – Checks – on Fame

Slow Gold – but Everlasting –
The Bullion of Today –
Contrasted with the Currency
Of Immortality –

A Beggar – Here and There –
Is gifted to discern
Beyond the Broker’s insight
One’s – Money – One’s – the Mine –

Manche – Dienen für Unsterblichkeit
Die Meisten. nur für Zeit –
Denn die – Vergütet – augenblicks –
Jene – prüft Ruhm – und Geizt –

Langsames Gold – hat Ewig Wert –
Kleingeld der Heutigen Zeit
Im Gegensatz zur Wahrung
Der Unsterblichkeit –

Ein Bettler – Hier wie Dort –
Vermag wohl zu erkennen
Mehr als ein Spekulant begreift
Was – Geld ist – und was Mine

I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched (378)

I saw no Way – The Heavens were stitched
I felt the Columns close –
The Earth reversed her Hemispheres –
I touched the Universe –

And back it slid – and I alone
A Speck upon a Ball –
Went out upon Circumference –
Beyond the Dip of Bell –

Kein Weg – Die Himmel warn vernäht
Die Pfeiler fühlt ich schliessen –
Erde tauschte die Hemisphärn
Ans Universum stiess ich –

Es glitt zurück – und ich allein –
Auf der Kugel nur ein Punkt –
Trat hinaus auf die Peripherie –
Wo keine Glocke Schwingt –

After great pain, a formal feeling comes (341)

After great pain, a formal feeling comes
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs –
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?

The Feet, mechanical, go round –
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought –
A Wooden way
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone –

This is the Hour of Lead –
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow –
First – Chill – then Stupor – then the letting go –

Nach Qual – befällt ein förmliches Gefühl –
Die Nerven sitzen Grabgleich, steif und still –
Das Herz fragt starr: war Ichs, der dies erfuhr,
Wars Gestern, ist es Hundertjahre her?

Die Füsse gehn, mechanisch, ihre Runde –
Auf Grund, auf Luft, auf lrgendwas –
Hölzernes Gehn
Achtlos im Sein,
Ein Quartz-Genügen, gleich dem Stein –

Dies ist die Stunde Blei –
Erinnert, wenn durchlebt,
So wie Erfrierende – den Schnee erfassen
Erst – Frösteln – Lähmung dann – dann Gehenlassen –

Death is a Dialogue between (976)

Death is a Dialogue between
The Spirit and the Dust.
“Dissolve” says Death – the Spirit “Sir
I have another Trust” –

Death doubts it – Argues from the Ground –
The spirit turns away
Just laying of for evidence
an Overcoat of Clay.

Tod ist ein Zwiegespräch geführt
Von Geist und Staub.
Tod spricht ‘Vergeh’ – Der Geist sagt ‘Herr
Andres verbürgt mein Glauben’ –

Tod widerspricht – und schliesst vom Grund –
Geist wendet sich zum Gehn
Und legt als einziges Zeugnis ab
Den Überwurf aus Lehm.

‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so (335)

‘Tis not that Dying hurts us so –
‘Tis Living – hurts us more –
But Dying – is a different way –
A Kind behind the Door –

The Southern Custom – of the Bird
That ere the Frosts are due –
Accepts a better Latitude –
We – are the Birds – that stay.

The Shiverers round Farmers’ doors
For whose reluctant Crumb –
We stipulate – till pitying Snows
Persuade our Feathers Home.

Nicht dass das Sterben uns so schmerzt
Das Leben – schmerzt weit mehr –
Doch Tod – hat eine andere Art
Eine Art hinter der Tür –

Südlicher Brauch – des Vogels –
Ehe die Fröste reifen –
Wählt er den besseren Breitengrad
Wir – sind Vögel – die bleiben.

Zittervolk um des Bauern Tür –
Das widerwillige Krume –
Erbettelt – bis barmherziger Schnee
Unsere Federn Heim gerufen.

What Inn is this (115)

What Inn is this
Where for the night
Peculiar Traveller comes?
Who is the Landlord?
Where the maids?
Behold, what curious rooms!
No ruddy fires on the hearth –
No brimming Tankards flow
Necromancer! Landlord!
Who are these below?

Was ist das für ein Gasthaus
Wo spät zur Nacht
Merkwürdiges Reisevolk einkehrt?
Wer ist hier der Wirt?
Wo sind die Mägde?
Zimmer von eigener Art!
Kein rotes Feuer wärmt den Herd
Es schäumen keine Humpen
Schwarzkünstler! Gastwirt!
Wer sind die da unten?

No Passenger was known to flee (1406)

No Passenger was known to flee
That lodged a night in memory –
That wily – subterranean Inn
Contrives that none go out again –

Kein Reisender soweit bekannt entkam –
Der dort für eine Nacht ein Zimmer nahm
Der pfiffige – unterirdische Wirt
Sorgt schon dafür dass keiner geht –

Those who have been in the Grave the longest (922)

Those who have been in the Grave the longest
Those who begin Today
Equally perish from our Practise
Death is the other way –

Foot of the Bold did least attempt it –
It – is the White Exploit
Once to achieve, annuls the power
Once to communicate –

Die am längsten in den Gräbern liegen
Und die erst Heut gelegt –
Entfallen unsrer Praxis –
Tod ist der andere Weg –

Die kühnsten Füsse versuchten ihn seltenst
Er ist das Weisse Meisterstück
Das einmal vollbracht, ein für allemal
Mitteilung tilgt –

Under the Light, yet under (949)

Under the Light, yet under,
Under the Grass and the Dirt,
Under the Beetle’s Cellar
Under the Clover’s Root,

Further than Arm could stretch
Were it Giant long,
Further than Sunshine could
Were the Day Year long,

Over the Light, yet over,
Over the Arc of the Bird
Over the Comet’s chimney
Over the Cubit’s Head,

Further than Guess can gallop
Further than Riddle ride –
Oh for a Disc to the Distance
Between Ourselves and the Dead!

Unter dem Licht, noch drunter,
Unter dem. Klee und Schmutz,
Unter des Käfers Keller
Unter des Grashalms Wurzel,

Weiter als Arme sich recken
Und wären sie Riesenlang,
Weiter als Sonnentage
Wahrten sie Jahrelang,

Über dem Licht, noch drüber,
Über des Vogels Schwung –
Über dem Schlot des Kometen
Über der Elle Stirn,

Weiter als Rätsel reiten
Weiter als Taumel tanzt –
O für die Fährte der Ferne
Zwischen den Toten und Uns!

The overtakelessness of those (1691)

The overtakelessness of those
Who have accomplished Death
Majestic is to me beyond
The majesties of Earth.

The soul her “Not at Home”
Inscribes upon the flesh –
And takes her fair aerial gait
Beyond the hope of touch.

In ihrer Uneinholbarkeit
Sind die den Tod vollbrachten
Mir über die Erhabenheit
Der Welt erhaben.

Die Seele schreibt ihr ,Nicht Daheim’
Scheidend aufs Fleisch –
Geht ihren lieblich luftigen Gang
Van Berührung unerreicht.

A Clock stopped (287)

A Clock stopped –
Not the Mantel’s –
Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing –
That just now dangled still –

An awe came on the Trinket!
The Figures hunched, with pain –
Then quivered out of Decimals –
Into Degreeless Noon –

It will not stir for Doctors –
This Pendulum of snow –
This Shopman importunes it –
While cool – concernless No –

Nods from the Gilded pointers –
Nods from the Seconds slim –
Decades of Arrogance between
The Dial life –
And Him –

Eine Uhr stand still –
Nicht die auf dem Kamin –
Aus Genf der beste Spezialist
Setzt nicht die Drahtpuppe in Gang –
Die grad verzappelt ist –

Eine Furcht befiel den Plunder!
Die Ziffern krümmte – Pein –
Sie bebten aus dem Zwölferrund –
Zum Mittag Gradlos hin –

Es rührt sich keinem Arzt zulieb –
Dies Pendelchen aus Eis –
Der Händler drangt vergebens –
Nur kühl – gleichgültiges Nein –

Nickt van den Güldenen Zeigern –
Von den Sekunden dünn –
Arroganz von Dekaden trennt
Das Uhrblatt Sein
Von Ihm –

I read my sentence – steadily (412)

I read my sentence – steadily –
Reviewed it with my eyes,
To see that I made no mistake
In its extremest clause –
The Date, and manner, of the shame –
And then the Pious Form
That “God have mercy” on the Soul
The Jury voted Him –
I made my soul familiar – with her extremity –
That at the last, it should not be a novel Agony –
But she, and Death, acquainted –
Meet tranquilly, as friends –
Salute, and pass, without a Hint –
And there, the Matter ends –

Ich las mein Urteil – ganz gefasst –
Und prüfte mit den Augen,
Dass ich es ja nicht missverstand
In der extremsten Klausel –
Den Zeitpunkt, und die Art, der Schmach –
Und dann die Fromme Formel
Dass ,Gott der Seele gnädig’ sei
Nach Willen der Geschwornen –
Gewohnte meine Seele – bald an ihr Äusserstes –
Dass ihr die eigene Agonie nicht neu ist, dann zuletzt –
Dass sie und Tod, so altbekannt –
Sich treffen, ruhig wie Freunde –
Sich grüssen, nickend, en passant –
Und so – die Sache endet –

I’ve seen a Dying Eye (547)

I’ve seen a Dying Eye
Run round and round a Room –
In search of Something – as it seemed –
Then Cloudier become –
And then – obscure with Fog –
And then – be soldered down
Without disclosing what it be
‘Twere blessed to have seen –

Ich sah ein Auge um und um
Den Raum durchlaufen Sterbend –
Und Etwas suchen – wie es schien –
Und dann Umwölkter werden –
Und dann – von Nebel trüb –
Dann – sah ich es verlöten
Ohne zu sagen was zu sehn
Ihm Segen bringen könnte –

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died (465)

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air
Between the Heaves of Storm –

The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last Onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the Room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

Eine Fliege summte – als ich starb –
Im Raum die Still schwoll
So wie die Stille in der Luft –
Wenn ein Sturm Atem holt –

Die Augen rings – schon ausgepresst –
Der Puls harrte gefasst
Des letzten Akts – da Er im Raum
Sich Fürstlich – offenbart –

Andenken hatte ich – vermacht
Und von mir überschrieben
Was übertragbar war – da schob
Die Fliege sich dazwischen –

Mit Blauem – taumelndem Gebrumm –
Zwischen das Licht – und mich –
Die Fenster schwanden mir – und dann
Verlor mein Sehn die Sicht –

I breathed enough to take the Trick (272)

I breathed enough to take the Trick –
And now – removed from Air –
I simulate the Breath, so well –
That One, to be quite sure –

The Lungs are stirless – must descend
Among the Cunning Cells –
And touch the Pantomime – Himself,
How numb, the Bellows feels!

Einst atmend lernte ich den Trick –
Kann darum jetzt – der Luft entwöhnt
So gut – das Atmen simuliern –
Dass Einer, will er sicher gehn –

Die Lungen liegen unbewegt –
Hinab muss in das Zellgeweb –
Dass er die Puppe – Selbst berührt,
Und so des Blasbalgs – Starre spürt!

To make One’s Toilette – after Death (485)

To make One’s Toilette – after Death
Has made the Toilette cool
Of only Taste we cared to please
Is difficult, and still –

That’s easier – than Braid the Hair –
And make the Bodice gay –
When eyes that fondled it are wrenched
By Decalogues – away

Toilette machen – nachdem Tod
Die Toilette kühl gemacht
Für den Geschmack den man umwarb
Ein schweres Amt, und doch –

Leichter – als Haare Flechten –
Als das Mieder bunt besteckt –
Und die Augen es zu streicheln
Rissen Zehn Gebote – weg –

Death is the supple Suitor (1445)

Death is the supple Suitor
That wins at last –
It is a stealthy Wooing
Conducted first
By pallid innuendoes
And dim approach
But brave at last with Bugles
And a bisected Coach
It bears away in triumph
To Troth unknown
And Kindred as responsive
As Porcelain.

Tod ist ein wendiger Freier
Gewinnt zu guter Letzt –
Sein Werben ist verstohlen
Zunächst betreibt er es
Mit blassen Suggestionen
Und matter Liebelei
Trumpft zuletzt auf mit Trompeten
Einer Kutsche zweigeteilt
Die triumphal davonträgt
Zur Treue unbekannt
Und zur Sippe so empfänglich
Wie Porzellan.

Dropped into the Ether Acre (665)

Dropped into the Ether Acre –
Wearing the Sod Gown –
Bonnet of Everlasting Laces –
Broach – frozen on –

Horses of Blonde – and Coach of Silver –
Baggage a strapped Pearl –
Journey of Down – and Whip of Diamond –
Riding to meet the Earl –

Versenkt in den Äther-Acker
Gehüllt in die Rasen-Robe –
Haube aus Unvergänglicher Spitze –
Brosche – angefroren –

Blond die Pferde – die Kutsche van Silber –
Gepäck eine Perle, aufgeschnallt –
Daunenreise – Diamantene Peitsche –
So geht dem Grafen entgegen die Fahrt

Our journey had advanced (615)

Our journey had advanced –
Our feet were almost come
To that odd Fork in Being’s Road –
Eternity – by Term –

Our pace took sudden awe –
Our feet – reluctant – led –
Before – were Cities – but Between –
The Forest of the Dead –

Retreat – was out of Hope –
Behind – a Sealed Route –
Eternity’s White Flag – Before –
And God – at every Gate –

Unsre Reise war schon weit voran –
Unser Fuss erreichte gleich
Jene Gabelung am Weg des Seins –
Mit Namen – Ewigkeit –

Unser Schritt wurde auf einmal scheu –
Unser Fuss – zögerte – bang –
Vor uns – die Städte – doch Davor –
Lag noch der Totenwald –

Rückzug – war Hoffnungslos –
Hinten – der Weg Versperrt –
Vorn – Fahnenweiss der Ewigkeit
Und Gott – an jedem Tor

I died for Beauty – but was scarce (449)

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 –

Ich starb um Schönheit – und war kaum
Recht eingelegt ins Grab
Als einer der um Wahrheit starb
Den Nebenraum bezog –

Er fragte leis ,Den Todesgrund’
,Schönheit’ gab ich Bescheid –
,Um Wahrheit – ich – Beide sind Eins –
Geschwister sind – wir zwei’ –

Wie Brüderrede, abendlich –
Gings zwischen unseren Räumen –
Bis das Moos uns an die Lippen stieg –
Und deckte – unsere Namen –

‘Twas just this time, last year, I died 445)

‘Twas just this time, last year, I died.
I know I heard the Corn,
When I was carried by the Farms –
It had the Tassels on –

I thought how yellow it would look –
When Richard went to mill –
And then, I wanted to get out,
But something held my will.

I thought just how Red – Apples wedged
The Stubble’s joints between –
And the Carts stooping round the fields
To take the Pumpkins in –

I wondered which would miss me, least,
And when Thanksgiving, came,
If Father’d multiply the plates –
To make an even Sum –

And would it blur the Christmas glee
My Stocking hang too high
For any Santa Claus to reach
The Altitude of me –

But this sort, grieved myself,
And so, I thought the other way,
How just this time, some perfect year –
Themself, should come to me –

Letztes Jahr starb ich, um diese Zeit.
Ich weiss ich hörte noch das Korn,
Als man mich trug die Scheunen lang –
Es hatte seine Quasten an –

Ich dachte mir wie gelb es glänzt –
Bald bringt Richard es zur Mühle –
Und dann – wollte ich gleich hinaus,
Doch etwas hielt den Willen.

Ich dachte mir wie Rot – verkeilt
In den Stoppeln Apfel liegen –
Bei der Kürbisernte rings im Feld
Wie sich die Karren bücken –

Wem fehlte ich – am wenigsten?
Und dann, beim Erntedank,
Nahm Vater einen Teller mehr –
Für die volle Zahl?

Und trübte wohl den Weihnachtsspass
Mein Strumpf so hoch gehängt
Dass ihn kein Weihnachtsmann erreicht
So Erhöht ist jetzt mein Stand –

Solche Gedanken – grämten mich,
Drum wollt ich anders denken,
Wie um diese Zeit, eines schonen Jahrs –
Sie selber – zu mir kämen –

How many times these low feet staggered (187)

How many times these low feet staggered –
Only the soldered mouth can tell –
Try – can you stir the awful rivet –
Try – can you lift the hasps of steel!

Stroke the cool forehead – hot so often –
Lift – if you care -the listless hair –
Handle the adamantine fingers
Never a thimble – more – shall wear

Buzz the dull flies – on the chamber window –
Brave – shines the sun through the freckled pane –
Fearless – the cobwebs swing from the ceiling –
Indolent Housewife – in Daisies – lain!

Wie oft diese armen Füsse wankten –
Weiss die verlötete Lippe allein –
Versuchs – die schrecklichen Nieten zu sprengen –
Versuchs – die Stahlspangen aufzuzwingen!

Streich über die kühle Stirn – oft so heiss –
Heb – wenn du magst – das gleichültige Haar –
Befühl die Finger so hart wie Eisen –
Legen den Fingerhut – nie mehr – an –

Dumpf summen Fliegen – am Kammerfenster –
Dreist – scheint die Sonne durch fleckiges Glas –
Furchtlos – schwingt Spinngeweb von der Decke
Träge Hausfrau – liegt drunten – im Gras!

The Bustle in a House (1078)

The Bustle in a House
The Morning after Death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon Earth –

The Sweeping up the Heart
And putting Love away
We shall not want to use again
Until Eternity.

Es Tut sich was im Hause
Am Tag nach einem Tod
Der feierlichste Hausputz
Auf Erden findet statt –

Das Herz wird Ausgekehrt
Und Liebe Fortgeräumt
Die wir nicht mehr benützen
Bis zur Ewigkeit.

Drowning is not so pitiful (1718)

Drowning is not so pitiful
As the attempt to rise.
Three times, ‘tis said, a sinking man
Comes up to face the skies,
And then declines forever
To that abhorred abode,
Where hope and he part company –
For he is grasped of God.
The Maker’s cordial visage,
However good to see,
Is shunned, we must admit it,
Like an adversity.

Ertrinken selbst ist nicht so schlimm
Wie der Drang noch aufzutauchen.
Es muss, sagt man, der Sinkende
Dreimal den Himmel schauen,
Neigt sich erst dann für immer
Zur verhassten Wohnstatt heim,
Wo Hoffnung ihm den Rücken kehrt –
Weil Gott ihn an sich reisst.
Des Schöpfers holdes Angesicht,
So tröstlich sonst, wird leider
In diesem Fall ungern gesehn,
Wie eine Widrigkeit.

The waters chased him as he fled (1749)

The waters chased him as he fled,
Not daring look behind –
A billow whispered in his Ear,
“Come home with me, my friend –
My parlor is of shriven glass,
My pantry has a fish
For every palate in the Year” –
To this revolting bliss
The object floating at his side
Made no distinct reply.

Die Wasserjagten ihn, er floh,
Wagte keinen Blick zurück –
,Komm heim zu mir, mein Freund’ sang ihm
Eine Welle leis ins Ohr –
,Meine Stube ist aus feinstem Glas,
Meine Küche bietet Fisch
Für jeden Gaumen, durch das Jahr’ –
Doch was an ihrer Seite trieb
Gab auf so üble Seligkeit
Nur undeutlich Bescheid.

Water makes many Beds (1428)

Water makes many Beds
For those averse to sleep –
Its awful chamber open stands
Its Curtains blandly sweep –
Abhorrent is the Rest
In undulating Rooms
Whose Amplitude no end invades –
Whose Axis never comes.

Wasser bereitet manch ein Bett
Für die gar nicht Schlafbereiten –
Seine Schreckenskammern stehen weit
Vorhänge wogen schmeichelnd –
Doch zu abscheulich ist die Past
In den gewellten Räumen
Deren Ausmass nie an Grenzen stösst –
Deren Achsen niemals kommen

Fortitude incarnate (1217)

Fortitude incarnate
Here is laid away
In the swift Partitions
Of the awful Sea –

Babble of the Happy
Cavil of the Bold
Hoary the Fruition
But the Sea is old

Edifice of Ocean
Thy tumultuous Rooms
Suit me at a venture
Better than the Tombs
Eingefleischte Tapferkeit
Wird hier abgelegt
In den flinken Verschlägen
Der furchtbaren See –

Geplapper der Glücklichen
Gekrittel der Kühnen
Eisgrau die Erfüllung
Alt ist die Dünung

Du Bauwerk des Ozeans
Deiner Kammern Tumult
Bettet mich wenn es sein muss
Besser als die Gruft

Ample make this Bed (829)

Ample make this Bed –
Make this Bed with Awe –
In it wait till Judgment break
Excellent and Fair.

Be its Mattress straight –
Be its Pillow round –
Let no Sunrise’ yellow noise
Interrupt this Ground –

Geräumig mach dies Bett –
Mach es mit Heiliger Scheu –
Lieg drin bis das Gericht anbricht
Makellos und Schön.

Es sei das Lager grad –
Es sei das Kissen rund –
Dass keiner Sonne gelber Lärm
Einbricht in diesen Grund

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers (216)

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.

Light laughs the breeze
In her Castle above them –
Babbles the Bee in a stolid Ear,
Pipe the Sweet Birds in ignorant cadence –
Ah, what sagacity perished here!

Version of 1859

Verwahrt in ihren Alabaster-Kammern –
Wo Frühe nicht hinrührt
Und Mittag nicht scheint –
Ruhn fromm die Mitglieder der Auferstehung
Sparren von Atlas,
Und Dach von Stein.

Hell lacht der Wind
Auf der Zinne droben –
Plappert die Biene ins dumpfe Ohr,
Zwitschern Vögel unwissend in Süsser Kadenz –
Ach, wieviel Scharfsinn scheiterte hier!

(Fassung von 1859)

*****

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers –
Untouched by Morning –
And untouched by Noon –
Lie 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 –

Version of 1861

Water, is taught by thirst (288)

Water, is taught by thirst.
Land – by Oceans passed.
Transport – by throe –
Peace – by its battles told
Love, by Memorial Mold
Birds, by the Snow.

Wasser – wird durch Durst gelehrt.
Land – durch überquertes Meer.
Verzückung – durch Weh –
Frieden – durch Schlachtgedenken
Liebe, durch Grabes Erde –
Vögel, durch Schnee.

(974)
Die klare Verknüpfung der Seele
Mit der Unsterblichkeit
Zeigt sich am besten in Gefahr
Oder Kalamität –

Wie Blitz in einer Landschaft
Schichten von Raum aufdeckt
Die keiner wahrnahm – bis der Strahl
Und Schlag – sie Jäh Durchzuckt.

(1225)
Seine Stunde mit sich selbst
Verrat der Geist nie.
Welcher Schrecken schlüge die Strasse in Bann
Enthüllte das Angesicht

Die Unterirdische Fracht
Die Kellergewölbe der Seele –
Gott sei Dank hat der lauteste Ort den Er schuf
Privileg der Stille.

(559)
Es sprach nicht an auf Medizin
Konnte drum – nicht Krankheit sein
Brauchte auch keine Chirurgie
War demnach – keine Pein –

Es ass die Wangen weg –
Mit jedem Mal ein Grübchen –
Ebnete – das Profil –
Und anstatt der Blüte

Liess es eine Färbung zurück
So klein und Namenlos –
Als wärs ein Gipsabdruck –
Trug Schuld – das Paradies –

Das kurz halboffen stand –
Und Kühnheit – kam ihm nah
Und siechte – seit der Zeit
Um Etwas das es sah?

(584)
Die Trauer nicht – die schmiegte sich
Wie Nadeln an – van Damenhand
Gepresst in Kissen-Wangen sacht –
Dass keine ihren Platz verlässt –

Woher Trost kam, ich fand es nicht
Nur. vorher war es Wildnis
Jetzt besser – Friede fast

(739)
Oft schien mir Frieden kehrte ein
Als Frieden ferne war
Schiffbrüchige – sehn so das Land –
Mitten im Meer –

Und ringen schwächer – und erfahrn
So hoffnungslos wie ich –
Wie oft doch ein fiktiver Strand
Weit vor dem Hafen liegt –

(408)
Einheit, wie Tod, für Wen?
Treu, wie das Grab,
Das nichts was Ihm vertraut
Je weitersagt –
Das Grab ist genau –
Eintritt gilt nur für Zwei – den Träger
Und den der Getragen Wird –
Platz – nur für Einen –
Die Lebenden – reden –
Die Sterbenden – eine Silbe nur
Die Spröden Toten – Keine
Kein Tee – dort – keine Plauderei –
Tassenklapperer, Plapperer -bleibt ruhig hier –
Nur Ernst – und Erwartung – und Scheu
Und Schauer, dass Alles nicht sicher sei.

bronnen:

Op PDF: Poems Emily Dickinson

 

Meer afbeeldingen van mijn werk: Saatchi –  Weebly – Behance

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