Emily Dickinson

Soundings Index

Because I could not stop for Death

 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 passes 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 felf a Funeral in my Brain

 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--

The Soul selects her own Society

 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--

Of all the Souls that stand Create

 Of all the Souls that stand create--
 I have elected--One-
 When Sense from Spirit--files away--
 And Subterfuge--is done--
 When that which is--and that which was--
 And this brief Tragedy of Flesh--
 Is shifted--like a Sand--
 When Figures show their royal Front--
 And Mists--are carved away,
 Behold the Atom--I preferred--
 To all the lists of Clay!

At Half-past Three

 At Half past Three, a single Bird
 Unto a silent Sky
 Propounded but a single term
 Of cautious melody.

 At Half past Four, Experiment
 Had subjugated test
 And lo, Her silver Principle
 Supplanted all the rest.

 At Half past Seven, Element
 Nor Implement, be seen--
 And Place was where the Presence was
 Circumference between.

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