Because I Could Not Stop For Death

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 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-

by Emily Dickinson

Comments (7)

Enjoyed reading........Thanks for sharing...............
Infected tide! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
Sorry Joseph Addison (1672 - 1719) was in fact an 17th / 18th century Brit so Mr Pruchnicki though your reading may be correct your years are out by about 100 years At the time of writing the British Empire was only a fledgling empire! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
OK, we've established Harmon's maladroit critique, Straw's nit-picking as usual, and Ahearn's dismay at oh-so-many verses and lines that his mind wanders so much that the poor lad despairs of whatever! ! I don't know but what say you give this a read as to what A LETTER FROM ITALY might suggest to a more incisive reader! I read it as a communique from a Roman like Pontius Pilate to his emperor and the senate in the manner of a report from the governor of an occupied territory in the Roman empire! Of course, Addison is a 19th century Brit assuming the rank of an ancient Roman reporting to his superior, but always the reader is aware that there is a subtext - a subtle but clear critique of the British empire in the 19th century! Though the alleged Roman sings the praises of his native land, Addison's persona notes always that Britannia rules the waves and is the guarantor of freedom and liberty! I'd say that was pretty clear from a closer reading than those of Harmon, Straw and Ahearn!
This is an end-stopped Erebus in verse, a rhyming-couplet catastrophe. Addison's forte was criticism, not poetry. The critical line here is: 'But I've already troubled you too long, '
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