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Poemsby Emily Dickinson

Griefs

 I measure every grief I meet
With analytic eyes;
I wonder if it weighs like mine,
Or has an easier size.
 I wonder if they bore it long,
Or did it just begin?
I could not tell the date of mine,
It feels so old a pain.
 I wonder if it hurts to live,
And if they have to try,
And whether, could they choose between,
They would not rather die.
 I wonder if when years have piled —
Some thousands — on the cause
Of early hurt, if such a lapse
Could give them any pause;
 Or would they go on aching still
Through centuries above,
Enlightened to a larger pain
By contrast with the love.
 The grieved are many, I am told;
The reason deeper lies, —
Death is but one and comes but once,
And only nails the eyes.
 There's grief of want, and grief of cold, —
A sort they call 'despair;'
There's banishment from native eyes,
In sight of native air.
 And though I may not guess the kind
Correctly, yet to me
A piercing comfort it affords
In passing Calvary,
 To note the fashions of the cross,
Of those that stand alone,
Still fascinated to presume
That some are like my own.