Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Three: Nature 13. One of the ones that Midas touched


One of the ones that Midas touched,

Who failed to touch us all,

Was that confiding prodigal,

The blissful oriole.

So drunk, he disavows it

With badinage divine;

So dazzling, we mistake him

For an alighting mine.

A pleader, a dissembler,

An epicure, a thief, --

Betimes an oratorio,

An ecstasy in chief;

The Jesuit of orchards,

He cheats as he enchants

Of an entire attar

For his decamping wants.

The splendor of a Burmah,

The meteor of birds,

Departing like a pageant

Of ballads and of bards.

I never thought that Jason sought

For any golden fleece;

But then I am a rural man,

With thoughts that make for peace.

But if there were a Jason,

Tradition suffer me

Behold his lost emolument

Upon the apple-tree.