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Poemsby Emily Dickinson

XXIII
Shipwreck

Too Much

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.

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