We never know we go, -- when we are going
We jest and shut the door;
Fate following behind us bolts it,
And we accost no more.
It struck me every day
The lightning was as new
As if the cloud that instant slit
And let the fire through.

Portraits are to daily faces
As an evening west
To a fine, pedantic sunshine
In a satin vest.
I took my power in my hand.
And went against the world;
'T was not so much as David had,
But I was twice as bold.
I aimed my pebble, but myself
Was all the one that fell.
Was it Goliath was too large,
Or only I too small?

Affords the sly presumption
That, in so dense a fuzz,
You, too, take cobweb attitudes
Upon a plane of gauze!
The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside.

Who never wanted, -- maddest joy
Remains to him unknown:
The banquet of abstemiousness
Surpasses that of wine.
Within its hope, though yet ungrasped
Desire's perfect goal,
No nearer, lest reality
Should disenthrall thy soul.

She doth not wait for June;
Before the world is green
Her sturdy little countenance
Against the wind is seen,
Contending with the grass,
Near kinsman to herself,
For privilege of sod and sun,
Sweet litigants for life.

Coach it insures, and footmen,
Chamber and state and throng;
Bells, also, in the village,
As we ride grand along.
What dignified attendants,
What service when we pause!
How loyally at parting
Their hundred hats they raise!

The date, and manner of the shame;
And then the pious form
That "God have mercy" on the soul
The jury voted him.
I made my soul familiar
With her extremity,
That at the last it should not be
A novel agony,
But she and Death, acquainted,
Meet tranquilly as friends,
Salute and pass without a hint --
And there the matter ends.

Or bees, that thought the summer's name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;
Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
By tropic hint, -- some travelled bird
Imported to the wood;
Or wind's bright signal to the ear,
Making that homely and severe,
Contented, known, before
The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm.

So choosing but a gown
And taking but a prayer,
The only raiment I should need,
I struggled, and was there.
If anybody's friend be dead,
It 's sharpest of the theme
The thinking how they walked alive,
At such and such a time.

A rapid, footless guest,
To offer whom a chair
Were as impossible as hand
A sofa to the air.
No bone had he to bind him,
His speech was like the push
Of numerous humming-birds at once
From a superior bush.

She died, -- this was the way she died;
And when her breath was done,
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun.
Her little figure at the gate
The angels must have spied,
Since I could never find her
Upon the mortal side.

That short, potential stir
That each can make but once,
That bustle so illustrious
'T is almost consequence,
Is the eclat of death.
Oh, thou unknown renown
That not a beggar would accept,
Had he the power to spurn!

What if the poles should frisk about
And stand upon their heads!
I hope I 'm ready for the worst,
Whatever prank betides!
Perhaps the kingdom of Heaven 's changed!
I hope the children there
Won't be new-fashioned when I come,
And laugh at me, and stare!
I hope the father in the skies
Will lift his little girl, --
Old-fashioned, naughty, everything, --
Over the stile of pearl!

A long, long sleep, a famous sleep
That makes no show for dawn
By stretch of limb or stir of lid, --
An independent one.
Was ever idleness like this?
Within a hut of stone
To bask the centuries away
Nor once look up for noon?
'T was just this time last year I died.
I know I heard the corn,
When I was carried by the farms, --
It had the tassels on.

She died, -- this was the way she died;
And when her breath was done,
Took up her simple wardrobe
And started for the sun.
Her little figure at the gate
The angels must have spied,
Since I could never find her
Upon the mortal side.

Glow plain and foreign
On my 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.

Of mines I little know, myself,
But just the names of gems, --
The colors of the commonest;
And scarce of diadems
So much that, did I meet the queen,
Her glory I should know:
But this must be a different wealth,
To miss it beggars so.

I 've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Dare you see a soul at the white heat?
Then crouch within the door.
Red is the fire's common tint;
But when the vivid ore
Has sated flame's conditions,
Its quivering substance plays
Without a color but the light
Of unanointed blaze.

A shady friend for torrid days
Is easier to find
Than one of higher temperature
For frigid hour of mind.
The vane a little to the east
Scares muslin souls away;
If broadcloth breasts are firmer
Than those of organdy,
Who is to blame? The weaver?
Ah! the bewildering thread!
The tapestries of paradise
So notelessly are made!

Before I got my eye put out,
I liked as well to see
As other creatures that have eyes,
And know no other way.
But were it told to me, to-day,
That I might have the sky
For mine, I tell you that my heart
Would split, for size of me.

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