Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part One: Life 50. I should have been too glad, I see


I should have been too glad, I see,

Too lifted for the scant degree

Of life's penurious round;

My little circuit would have shamed

This new circumference, have blamed

The homelier time behind.

I should have been too saved, I see,

Too rescued; fear too dim to me

That I could spell the prayer

I knew so perfect yesterday, --

That scalding one, "Sabachthani,"

Recited fluent here.

Earth would have been too much, I see,

And heaven not enough for me;

I should have had the joy

Without the fear to justify, --

The palm without the Calvary;

So, Saviour, crucify.

Defeat whets victory, they say;

The reefs in old Gethsemane

Endear the shore beyond.

'T is beggars banquets best define;

'T is thirsting vitalizes wine, --

Faith faints to understand.