It Was Not Death

(2002)

"It Was Not Death" is the second song of Robert Beaser's Four Dickinson Songs.

It was not Death
by Emily Dickinson


It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down —
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.


It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos — crawl —
Nor Fire — for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool —


And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine —


As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And 'twas like Midnight, some -


When everything that ticked — has stopped —
And Space stares all around —
Or Grisly frosts — first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground —


But, most, like Chaos - Stopless — cool —
Without a Chance, or Spar —
Or even a Report of Land —
To justify — Despair.


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