Emily Dickinson: Because I Could Not Stop for Death

Emily D

 

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 grew 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 but a mound.

 

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each


Feels shorter than the day


I first surmised the horses’ heads


Were toward eternity.

 

Note: A tippet is a shawl.

 

***

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