Emily Dickinson’s Fascicle 16

Table of Contents

Poem 1 (J 327: 1862/1891)

1: Before I got my eye put out—
2: I liked as well to see
3: As other Creatures, that have Eyes—
4: And know no other way—

5: But were it told to me, Today,
6: That I might have the Sky
7: For mine, I tell you that my Heart
8: Would split, for size of me—

9: The Meadows—mine—
10: The Mountains—mine—
11: All Forests—Stintless Stars—
12: As much of noon, as I could take—
13: Between my finite Eyes—

14: The Motions of the Dipping Birds—
15: The Lightning's jointed Road— Morning's Amber Road—
16: For mine—to look at when I liked
17: The news would strike me dead—

18: So safer—guess—with just my soul
19: Upon the window pane
20: Where other Creatures put their Eyes
21: Incautious of the Sun—

Poem 2. (J 607: 1862/1929

1: Of nearness to her Sundered Things
2: The Soul has special times—
3: When Dimness—looks the Oddity—
4: Distinctness—easy—seems—

5: The Shapes we buried, dwell about,
6: Familiar, in the Rooms—
7: Untarnished by the Sepulchre,
8: The Our Mouldering Playmate comes—

9: In just the Jacket that he wore—
10: Long buttoned in the Mold
11: Since we—old mornings, Children—played—
12: Divided by a world—

13: The Grave yields back her Robberies—
14: The Years, our pilfered Things—
15: Bright Knots of Apparitions
16: Salute us with their wings—

17: As we—it were—that perished—
18: Themself—had just remained till we rejoin them—
19: And 'twas they, and not ourself
20: That mourned.

Poem 3 (J 279: 1861/1896)

1: Tie the Strings to my Life, My Lord,
2: Then, I am ready to go!
3: Just look at the Horses—
4: Rapid! That will do!

5: Put me in on the firmest tightest highest— side—
6: So I shall never fall—
7: For we must ride to the Judgment—
8: And it's partly, down Hill— And it's many a mile—the Hills—

9: But I never mind the steepest Bridges
10: And I never mind the Sea—
11: Held fast in Everlasting Race—
12: By my own Choice, and Thee—

13: Goodbye to the Life I used to live—
14: And the World I used to know—
15: And kiss the Hills, for me, just once—
16: Then— Now Here's a keepsake for I am ready to go!

Poem 4 (J 241: 1861/1890)

1: I like a look of Agony,
2: Because I know it's true—
3: Men do not sham Convulsion,
4: Nor simulate a Throe—

5: Death comes
6: The Eyes glaze once—and—that is Death—
7: Impossible to feign
8: The Beads upon the Forehead
9: By homely Anguish strung.

Poem 5 (J 280: 1861/1896)

1: I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
2: And Mourners to and fro
3: Kept treading—treading—till it seemed
4: That Sense was breaking through—

5: And when they were all seated,
6: A Service, like a Drum—
7: Kept beating—beating—till I thought
8: My Mind was going numb—

9: And then I heard them lift a Box
10: And creak across my Soul
11: With those same Boots of lead, again,
12: Then Space began to toll,

13: As all the Heavens were a Bell,
14: And Being, but an Ear,
15: And I, and Silence, some strange Race
16: Wrecked, solitary, here—

17: And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
18: And I dropped down, and down—
19: And hit a World, at every plunge, Crash—
20: And Finished And Got through— knowing—then—

Poem 6 (J 281: 1861/1935)

1: 'Tis so appalling—it exhilarates—
2: So over Horror, it half Captivates— So over Horror, it dumb fascinates—
3: The Soul stares after it, secure—
4: To know the worst, leaves no dread more— A Sepulchre, fears frost, no more—

5: To scan a Ghost, is faint—
6: But grappling, conquers it—
7: How easy Torment, now—
8: Suspense kept sawing so—

9: The Truth, is Bald, and Cold—
10: But that will hold—
11: If any are not sure—
12: We show them—prayer—
13: But we, who know,
14: Stop hoping, now—

15: Looking at Death, is Dying—
16: Just let go the Breath—
17: And not the pillow at your Cheek
18: So Slumbereth—

19: Others, Can wrestle—
20: Yours, is done—
21: And so of Woe, bleak dreaded—come,
22: It sets the Fright at liberty—
23: And Terror's free—
24: Gay, Ghastly, Holiday!

Poem 7. (J 282: 1861/1929)

1: How noteless Men and Pleiads, stand,
2: Until a sudden sky
3: Reveals the fact that One is rapt
4: Forever from the Eye—

5: Members of the Invisible,
6: Existing while we stare,
7: In Leagueless Opportunity,
8: O'ertakeless, as the Air—

9: Why didn't we detain Them? retain Them? detain it?
10: The Heavens with a smile,
11: Sweep by our disappointed Heads
12: Without a syllable— But deign no syllable

Poem 8 (J 242: 1861/1945)

1: When we stand on top of Things—
2: And like the Trees, look down—
3: The smoke all cleared away from it—
4: And Mirrors on the scene—

5: Just laying light—no soul will wink
6: Except it have a flaw—
7: The Sound ones, like the Hills —shall stand— —stand up—
8: No Lightening, scares away— drives away—

9: The Perfect, nowhere be afraid—
10: They bear their
11: dauntless Heads, fearless—Heads, tranquil—Heads,
12: Where others, dare not go at Noon, walk at noon,
13: Protected by their deeds—

14: The Stars dare shine occasionally
15: Upon a spotted World—
16: And Suns, go surer, for their Proof,
17: As if An Axle, held— A Muscle—held

Poem 9 (J 445: 1862/1896)

1: 'Twas just this time, last year, I died.
2: I know I heard the Corn,
3: When I was carried by the Farms—
4: It had the Tassels on—

5: I thought how yellow it would look—
6: When Richard went to mill—
7: And then, I wanted to get out,
8: But something held my will.

9: I thought just how red—Apples wedged
10: The Stubble's joints between—
11: And carts stooping round the fields
12: To take the Pumpkins in—

13: I wondered which would miss me, least,
14: And when Thanksgiving, came,
15: If father'd multiply the plates—
16: To make an even Sum—

17: And would it blur the Christmas glee
18: My Stocking hand too high
19: For any Santa Claus to reach
20: The Altitude of me—

21: But this sort, grieved myself,
22: And so, I thought the other way,
23: And just this time, some perfect year—
24: Themself, should come to me—

Poem 10 (J 608: 1862/1890)

1: Afraid! Of whom am I afraid?
2: Not Death—for who is He?
3: The Porter of my father's Lodge
4: As much abasheth me!

5: Of Life? 'Twere odd I fear thing
6: That comprehendeth me
7: In one or two existences more—existences
8: Just as the case may be As Deity decree—

9: Of Resurrection? Is the East
10: Afraid to trust the Morn
11: With her fastidious forehead?
12: As soon impeach my Crown!

Poem 11 (J 446: 1862/1914)

1: He showed me Hights I never saw—
2: "Would'st Climb," —He said?
3: I said—"Not so"—
4: "With me—" He said—"With me"?
5: He showed me Secrets—Morning's Nest—
6: The Rope the Nights were put across—
7: "And now—"Would'st have me for a Guest"?
8: I could not find my "Yes".

9: And then, He brake His Life—And lo,
10: A Light, for me, did solemn glow,
11: The steadier, as my face withdrew The larger—as my face withdrew
12: And could I, further, "No"?