Emily Dickinson

I Never Lost

I never lost as much but twice,
And that was in the sod;
Twice have I stood a beggar
Before the door of God!
Angels, twice descending, 5
Reimbursed my store.
Burglar, banker, father,
I am poor once more!

 

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers – first version

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers -
Untouched by morning
And untouched by noon -
Sleep the meek members of the Resurrection -
Rafter of satin,
5
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 -
10
Ah, what sagacity perished here!

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers – second version


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 -
5
 
Grand go the Years
In the Crescent above them -
Worlds scoop their Arcs –
And Firmaments – row -
Diadems - drop –
10
And Doges – surrender –
Soundless as Dots,
On a Disc of Snow.

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 -- 5
At her low Gate --
Unmoved -- an Emperor be kneeling
Upon her Mat --
I've known her -- from an ample nation --
Choose One -- 10
Then -- close the Valves of her attention --
Like Stone –


I Felt A Funeral



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, 5
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 10
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 15
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 – 20