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   Chapter 38 IN VAIN.

Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete By Emily Dickinson Characters: 1221

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


I cannot live with you,

It would be life,

And life is over there

Behind the shelf

The sexton keeps the key to,

Putting up

Our life, his porcelain,

Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,

Quaint or broken;

A newer Sevres pleases,

Old ones crack.

I could not die with you,

For one must wait

To shut the other's gaze down, -

You could not.

And I, could I stand by

And see you freeze,

Without my right of frost,

Death's privilege?

Nor could I rise with you,

Because your face

Would put out Jesus',

That new grace

Glow plain and foreign

On m

y homesick eye,

Except that you, than he

Shone closer by.

They'd judge us - how?

For you served Heaven, you know,

Or sought to;

I could not,

Because you saturated sight,

And I had no more eyes

For sordid excellence

As Paradise.

And were you lost, I would be,

Though my name

Rang loudest

On the heavenly fame.

And were you saved,

And I condemned to be

Where you were not,

That self were hell to me.

So we must keep apart,

You there, I here,

With just the door ajar

That oceans are,

And prayer,

And that pale sustenance,

Despair!

* * *

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