Poemsby Emily Dickinson

The Bat

The Balloon

You've seen balloons set, haven't you?
  So stately they ascend
It is as swans discarded you
  For duties diamond.
Their liquid feet go softly out
  Upon a sea of blond;
They spurn the air as 't were too mean
  For creatures so renowned.
Their ribbons just beyond the eye,
  They struggle some for breath,
And yet the crowd applauds below;
  They would not encore death.
The gilded creature strains and spins,
  Trips frantic in a tree,
Tears open her imperial veins
  And tumbles in the sea.
The crowd retire with an oath
  The dust in streets goes down,
And clerks in counting-rooms observe,
  ''T was only a balloon.'