Saturday, May 15, 2010

On This Day...

On this day in 1886, Emily Dickinson died. Here's an old standard, in a somewhat non-standard version:
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.

For background, see the notes at the end of the text here. The poem can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas."


Toni said...

Thanks for this Jack. I don't think I've ever read that fourth stanza. It gave me a chill.

Buce said...

Perhaps ou mean:

We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;


Compare: time does snot march on; it is we who march on and time stays in the same damn place.