Index, Life

PL

Notes for Emily Dickinson’s poetry | Fascicles and print; the poet’s correlative with Webster 1828 and her other literary devices, Latin and Greek inspiration, an Aristotelian theme. More→

(1) I. Success
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 to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory… More→

(2) II. Our Share of Night to Bear
Our share of night to bear,
Our share of morning,
Our blank in bliss to fill,
Our blank in scorning. More→

(3) III. Rouge et Noir
Soul, wilt thou toss again?
By just such a hazard
Hundreds have lost, indeed,
But tens have won an all. More→

(4) IV. Rouge Gagne
It is so much joy! ’T is 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! More→

(5) V. Glee! The Great Storm Is Over
Glee! the great storm is over!
Four have recovered the land;
Forty gone down together
Into the boiling sand.

Ring, for the scant salvation!
Toll, for the bonnie souls, —
Neighbor and friend and bridegroom,
Spinning upon the shoals! More→

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(6) Vi. If I Can Stop One Heart from Breaking
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain… More→

(7) VII. Almost!
Within my reach!
I could have touched!
I might have chanced that way!
Soft sauntered through the village,
Sauntered as soft away! More→

(8) VIII. A Wounded Deer
A wounded deer leaps highest,
I’ve heard the hunter tell;
’T is but the ecstasy of death,
And then the brake is still. More→

(9) IX. The Heart Asks Pleasure First
The heart asks pleasure first,
And then, excuse from pain;
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering… More→

(10) X. In a Library
A precious, mouldering pleasure ’t is
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… More→

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(11) XI. Much Madness
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness. More→

(12) XII. I Asked No Other Thing
I asked no other thing,
No other was denied.
I offered Being for it;
The mighty merchant smiled. More→

(13) XIII. Exclusion
The soul selects her own society,
Then shuts the door;
On her divine majority
Obtrude no more. More→

(14) XIV. Secret
Some things that fly there be, —
Birds, hours, the bumble-bee:
Of these no elegy.

Some things that stay there be, —
Grief, hills, eternity:
Nor this behooveth me. More→

(15) XV. The Lonely House
I know some lonely houses off the road
A robber ’d like the look of, —
Wooden barred,
And windows hanging low,
Inviting to
A portico,
Where two could creep:
One hand the tools,
The other peep
To make sure all’s asleep.
Old-fashioned eyes,
Not easy to surprise! More→

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(16) XVI. To Fight Aloud
To fight aloud is very brave,
But gallanter, I know,
Who charge within the bosom,
The cavalry of woe.

Who win, and nations do not see,
Who fall, and none observe,
Whose dying eyes no country
Regards with patriot love. More→

(17) XVII. Dawn
When night is almost done,
And sunrise grows so near
That we can touch the spaces,
It’s time to smooth the hair,
And get the dimples ready… More→

(18) XVIII. The Book of Martyrs
Read, sweet, how others strove,
Till we are stouter;
What they renounced,
Till we are less afraid;
How many times they bore
The faithful witness,
Till we are helped,
As if a kingdom cared! More→

(19) XIX. The Mystery of Pain
Pain has an element of blank;
It cannot recollect
When it began, or if there were
A day when it was not. More→

(20) XX. I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed
I taste a liquor never brewed,
From tankards scooped in pearl;
Not all the vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an alcohol!

Inebriate of air am I,
And debauchee of dew,
Reeling, through endless summer days,
From inns of molten blue. More→

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(21) XXI. A Book
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. More→

(22) XXII. I Had No Time to Hate
I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity. More→

(23) XXIII. Unreturning
’T was such a little, little boat
That toddled down the bay!
’T was such a gallant, gallant sea
That beckoned it away! More→

(24) XXIV. Whether My Bark Went Down at Sea
Whether my bark went down at sea,
Whether she met with gales,
Whether to isles enchanted
She bent her docile sails… More→

(25) XXV. Belshazzar Had a Letter
Belshazzar had a letter, —
He never had but one;
Belshazzar’s correspondent
Concluded — and begun
In that immortal copy… More→

(26) XXVI. The Brain within Its Groove
The brain within its groove
Runs evenly and true;
But let a splinter swerve
’T were easier for you… More→

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