Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part One: Life 5. Glee! The great storm is over!

Glee! The great storm is over!

Four have recovered the land;

Forty gone down together

Into the boiling sand.

Ring, for the scant salvation!

Toll, for the bonnie souls, --

Neighbor and friend and bridegroom,

Spinning upon the shoals!

How they will tell the shipwreck

When winter shakes the door,

Till the children ask, "But the forty?

Did they come back no more?"

Then a silence suffuses the story,

And a softness the teller's eye;

And the children no further question,

And only the waves reply.