poems sent from dickinson to higginson

Of all the Sounds despatched abroad,
There's not a Charge to me
Like that old measure in the Boughs -
That phraseless Melody -
The Wind does - working like a Hand,
Whose fingers Comb the Sky -
Then quiver down - with tufts of Tune -
Permitted Gods, and me -

Inheritance, it is, to us -
Beyond the Art to Earn -
Beyond the trait to take away
By Robber, since the Gain
Is gotten not of fingers -
And inner than the Bone -
Hid golden, for the whole of Days,
And even in the urn,
i cannot vouch the merry Dust
Do not arise and play
In some odd fashion of it's own,
Some quainter Holiday,
When Winds go round and round in Bands -
And thrum upon the door,
And Birds take places, overhead,
To bear them Orchestra.

I crave Him grace of Summer Boughs,
If such an Outcast be -
Who never heard that fleshless Chant -
Rise - solemn - on the Tree,
As if some caravan of Sound
Off Deserts, in the Sky,
Had parted Rank,
Then knit, and swept -
In Seamless Company -

thomas johnson's note on poem 321 | index to dickinson poems sent to higginson

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Commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith, all rights reserved
Maintained by Lara Vetter <lv26@umail.umd.edu>
Last updated on September 2, 1998