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About this Poem 

This poem is in the public domain.

I like to see it lap the Miles (43)

Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886

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. 
Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

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.

by this poet


If I should die,
And you should live,
And time should gurgle on,
And morn should beam,
And noon should burn,
As it has usual done;
If birds should build as early,
And bees as bustling go,—
One might depart at option
From enterprise below!
’T is sweet to know that


I could suffice for Him, I knew—
He—could suffice for Me—
Yet Hesitating Fractions—Both
Surveyed Infinity—

"Would I be Whole" He sudden broached—
My syllable rebelled—
'Twas face to face with Nature—forced—
'Twas face to face with God—

Withdrew the Sun—to Other

Two Butterflies went out at Noon—
And waltzed above a Farm—  
Then stepped straight through the Firmament  
And rested on a Beam—  
And then—together bore away 
Upon a shining Sea—  
Though never yet, in any Port—  
Their coming mentioned—be—  
If spoken by the distant Bird— 
If met in Ether Sea