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.