Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Two: Love 23. "Going to him! Happy letter! Tell him


"Going to him! Happy letter! Tell him --

Tell him the page I didn't write;

Tell him I only said the syntax,

And left the verb and the pronoun out.

Tell him just how the fingers hurried,

Then how they waded, slow, slow, slow;

And then you wished you had eyes in your pages,

So you could see what moved them so.

"Tell him it wasn't a practised writer,

You guessed, from the way the sentence toiled;

You could hear the bodice tug, behind you,

As if it held but the might of a child;

You almost pitied it, you, it worked so.

Tell him -- No, you may quibble there,

For it would split his heart to know it,

And then you and I were silenter.

"Tell him night finished before we finished,

And the old clock kept neighing 'day!'

And you got sleepy and begged to be ended --

What could it hinder so, to say?

Tell him just how she sealed you, cautious,

But if he ask where you are hid

Until to-morrow, -- happy letter!

Gesture, coquette, and shake your head!"