I cried at Pity — not at Pain —

(1990)

"I cried at Pity — not at Pain —" is the ninth song in Leo Smit's song cycle Childe Emilie. Childe Emilie is the first of Smit's six song cycles setting the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

For more information about Leo Smit's Emily Dickinson song cycles, please visit the pages for The Ecstatic Pilgrimage and Leo Smit.

For inquiries about Leo Smit, please contact Nils Vigeland at [email protected]

I cried at Pity — not at Pain — (poem 588)
by Emily Dickinson


I cried at Pity — not at Pain —
I heard a Woman say
"Poor Child" — and something in her voice
Convicted me — of me —


So long I fainted, to myself
It seemed the common way,
And Health, and Laughter, Curious things —
To look at, like a Toy —


To sometimes hear "Rich people" buy
And see the Parcel rolled —
And carried, I supposed — to Heaven,
For children, made of Gold —


But not to touch, or wish for,
Or think of, with a sigh —
And so and so — had been to me,
Had God willed differently.


I wish I knew that Woman's name —
So when she comes this way,
To hold my life, and hold my ears
For fear I hear her say


She's "sorry I am dead" — again —
Just when the Grave and I —
Have sobbed ourselves almost to sleep,
Our only Lullaby —


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