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!

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!

First print Life IV, 4
Johnson 172 | Franklin 170

■→IN POLISH

Text compared with the fascicle and prepared for publication by Teresa Pelka, available under any of the following licenses:
■→Creative Commons License 4.0, BY-SA 3.0, and License 2.5.

■→Poems, first print by Higginson and Todd, page 16;
Heaven capitalized, for reference to belief.

■→Notes for Emily Dickinson’s poetry;
Poems one-by-one print and fascicle comparison,
■→Resource for Emily Dickinson’s poetry;
■→Google Drive, manuscript fascicles.


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The world may never have seen her original handwriting, if her skill was taken for supernatural. Feel welcome to Poems by Emily Dickinson prepared for print by Teresa Pelka: thematic stanzas, notes on the Greek and Latin inspiration, the correlative with Webster 1828, and the Aristotelian motif, Things perpetual — these are not in time, but in eternity.
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