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Dickinson, Emily

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 passed 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 –

Drowning is not so pitiful

Drowning is not so pitiful
As the attempt to rise.
Three times, ‘tis said, a sinking man
Comes up to face the skies,
And then declines forever
To that abhorred abode,
Where hope and he part company –
For he is grasped of God.
The Maker’s cordial visage,
However good to see,
Is shunned, we must admit it,
Like an adversity.

Time and Eternity

CXXX

THERE’S been a death in the opposite house
As lately as to-day.
I know it by the numb look
Such houses have alway.

The neighbors rustle in and out, 
The doctor drives away.
A window opens like a pod,
Abrupt, mechanically;

Somebody flings a mattress out,—
The children hurry by; 
They wonder if It died on that,—
I used to when a boy.

The minister goes stiffly in
As if the house were his,
And he owned all the mourners now, 
And little boys besides;

And then the milliner, and the man
Of the appalling trade,
To take the measure of the house.
There ’ll be that dark parade 

Of tassels and of coaches soon;
It ’s easy as a sign,—
The intuition of the news
In just a country town.

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