Poemsby Emily Dickinson

In Vain

 I cannot live with you, It would be life, And life is over there Behind the shelf 
 The sexton keeps the key to, Putting up Our life, his porcelain, Like a cup 
 Discarded of the housewife, Quaint or broken; A newer Sevres pleases, Old ones crack. 
 I could not die with you, For one must wait To shut the other's gaze down, - You could not. 
 And I, could I stand by And see you freeze, Without my right of frost, Death's privilege? 
 Nor could I rise with you, Because your face Would put out Jesus', That new grace 
 Glow plain and foreign On my homesick eye, Except that you, than he Shone closer by. 
 They'd judge us - how? For you served Heaven, you know, Or sought to; I could not, 
 Because you saturated sight, And I had no more eyes For sordid excellence As Paradise. 
 And were you lost, I would be, Though my name Rang loudest On the heavenly fame. 
 And were you saved, And I condemned to be Where you were not, That self were hell to me. 
 So we must keep apart, You there, I here, With just the door ajar That oceans are, And prayer, And that pale sustenance, Despair!