Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Four: Time and Eternity 76. I should not dare to leave my friend


I should not dare to leave my friend,

Because -- because if he should die

While I was gone, and I -- too late --

Should reach the heart that wanted me;

If I should disappoint the eyes

That hunted, hunted so, to see,

And could not bear to shut until

They "noticed" me -- they noticed me;

If I should stab the patient faith

So sure I 'd come -- so sure I 'd come,

It listening, listening, went to sleep

Telling my tardy name, --

My heart would wish it broke before,

Since breaking then, since breaking then,

Were useless as next morning's sun,

Where midnight frosts had lain!