The Chariot

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 played*
[At recess in the ring]** Their lessons scarcely done;
We passed the fields of gazing grain--
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather He passed us.
The dews drew 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 in the ground.****

Since then 'tis centuries; and yet.*****
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Emily Dickinson

       A Little Treasury of Modern Poetry (1952). Oscar Williams (Ed.). New York: Charles Scribners Sons, pp. 54.
Notes from Representative Poetry Online - http://rpo.library.utoronto.ca/poem/2614.html
* in line 9, the existing manuscript version reads "strove"
** in line 10, at recess in the ring".
*** after line 12, the existing manuscript version adds one stanza.
A tippet is a cape or scarf worn on the shoulders, and tulle is sheer silk material.
**** here, cornice is a projecting mould that overhangs a roof or wall
but a mound: the existing manuscript version reads "in the ground".
***** in line 17, "but each: the existing manuscript version reads "and yet".

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I Never Saw a Moor

I never saw a moor,
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.

I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven;
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the chart were given.

Emily Dickinson

       A Little Treasury of Modern Poetry (1952). Oscar Williams (Ed.). New York: Charles Scribners Sons, p. 48.

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May 4, 2000