Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Three: Nature 7. From cocoon forth a butterfly


From cocoon forth a butterfly

As lady from her door

Emerged -- a summer afternoon --

Repairing everywhere,

Without design, that I could trace,

Except to stray abroad

On miscellaneous enterprise

The clovers understood.

Her pretty parasol was seen

Contracting in a field

Where men made hay, then struggling hard

With an opposing cloud,

Where parties, phantom as herself,

To Nowhere seemed to go

In purposeless circumference,

As 't were a tropic show.

And notwithstanding bee that worked,

And flower that zealous blew,

This audience of idleness

Disdained them, from the sky,

Till sundown crept, a steady tide,

And men that made the hay,

And afternoon, and butterfly,

Extinguished in its sea.