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About this Poem 

“A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)” by Emily Dickinson was not published in Dickinson’s lifetime. 

A lane of Yellow led the eye (1650)

Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886

A lane of Yellow led the eye
Unto a Purple Wood
Whose soft inhabitants to be
Surpasses solitude
If Bird the silence contradict
Or flower presume to show
In that low summer of the West
Impossible to know -

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

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


Wild Nights – Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile – the winds –
To a heart in port –
Done with the compass –
Done with the chart!

Rowing in Eden –
Ah, the sea!
Might I moor – Tonight –
In thee!


We never know how high we are  
  Till we are called to rise;  
And then, if we are true to plan,  
  Our statures touch the skies—  
The Heroism we recite
  Would be a daily thing,  
Did not ourselves the Cubits warp  
  For fear to be a King—
I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes – 
I wonder if It weighs like Mine – 
Or has an Easier size.

I wonder if They bore it long – 
Or did it just begin – 
I could not tell the Date of Mine – 
It feels so old a pain – 

I wonder if it hurts to live – 
And if They have to try – 
And whether –