Emily Dickinson

girl-gather-flowers-windI 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…

– – –

Me and Myself, to banish,
Had I Art.
Impregnable my Fortress
Unto All Heart.

But since Myself, assault Me.
How have I peace
Except by subjugating
Consciousness?

And since We’re mutual Monarch
How this be
Except by Abdication,
Me, of Me?

– – –

Behind Me, dips Eternity.
Before Me, Immortality.
Myself, the Term between.

Death but the Drift of Eastern Gray,
Dissolving into Dawn away,
Before the West begin.

‘Tis Kingdom, afterward, they say,
In perfect, pauseless Monarchy,
Whose Prince is Son of None,
Himself, His Dateless Dynasty,
Himself, Himself diversify,
In duplicate Divine.

‘Tis Miracle before Me, then,
‘Tis Miracle behind, between,
A Crescent in the Sea,
With midnight to the North of Her,
And Midnight to the South of Her,
And Maelstrom, in the Sky.

– – –

“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.