Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part One: Life 62. Before I got my eye put out


Before I got my eye put out,

I liked as well to see

As other creatures that have eyes,

And know no other way.

But were it told to me, to-day,

That I might have the sky

For mine, I tell you that my heart

Would split, for size of me.

The meadows mine, the mountains mine, --

All forests, stintless stars,

As much of noon as I could take

Between my finite eyes.

The motions of the dipping birds,

The lightning's jointed road,

For mine to look at when I liked, --

The news would strike me dead!

So safer, guess, with just my soul

Upon the window-pane

Where other creatures put their eyes,

Incautious of the sun.