It was not Death, for I stood up, And all the Dead, lie down— It was not Night, for all the Bells Put out their Tongues, for Noon. It was not Frost, for on my Flesh I felt Sirocos—crawl— Nor Fire—for just my Marble feet Could keep a Chancel, cool— And yet, it tasted, like them all, The Figures I have seen Set
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I like to see it lap the Miles (43)
I like to see it lap the Miles, And lick the valleys up, And stop to feed itself at tanks; And then, prodigious, step Around a pile of mountains, And, supercilious, peer In shanties by the sides of roads; And then a quarry pare To fit its sides, and crawl between, Complaining all the while In horrid, hooting stanza; Then chase itself down hill And neigh like Boanerges; Then, punctual as a star, Stop—docile and omnipotent— At its own stable door.
Born in 1830 in Massachusetts, Emily Dickinson lived in almost total physical isolation from the outside world and is now considered, along with Walt Whitman, the founder of a uniquely American poetic voice.