I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, eyes –
I wonder if It weighs like Mine –
Or has an Easier size.
I wonder if They bore it long –
Or did it just begin –
I could not tell the Date of Mine –
It feels so old a pain –
I wonder if it hurts to live –
And if They have to try –
And whether – could They choose between –
It would not be – to die –
I note that some – gone patient long –
At length, renew their smile –
An imitation of a light
That has so little oil –
I wonder if when Years have piled –
Some Thousands – on the Harm –
That hurt them early – such a lapse-
Could give them any Balm –
Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve –
Enlightened to a larger Pain –
In Contrast with the Love –
The Grieved – are many – I am told –
There is the various Cause –
Death – is but one – and comes but once –
And only nails the eyes –
There’s is Grief of Want – and grief of Cold –
A sort they call “Despair” –
There’s Banishment from native Eyes –
In sight of Native Air –
And though I may not guess the kind –
Correctly – yet to me –
A piercing Comfort it affords
In passing Calvary –
To note the fashions – of the Cross –
And how they’re mostly worn –
Still fascinated to presume
That some – are like my own –
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) an American poet quotes:
“I dwell in possibility”.
“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain”.
“How strange that nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude”
“A wounded deer leaps the highest”.
“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul- and sings the tune without the words- and never stops at all”.
“Saying nothing sometimes says the most”.
“Old age comes on suddenly, and not gradually as is thought”.
“I am out with lanterns looking for myself”.
“Pardon my sanity in a world insane”.
“That it will never come again is what makes life sweet”.