Emily Dickinson
[Because I could not stop for Death] (c. 1863)


Because I could not stop for Death--


He kindly stopped for me;


The carriage held but just ourselves--


And Immortality.




We slowly drove--he knew no haste


And I had put away 


My labor, and my leisure too, 


For his Civility--




We passed the School where Children strove 


At Recess--in the Ring--


We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--


We passed the Setting Sun--




Or rather--He passed Us-- 


The Dews drew quivering and chill--


For only Gossamer, my Gown--


My Tippet--only Tulle--




We paused before a House that seemed 


A Swelling of the Ground--


The Roof was scarcely visible--


The Cornice--in the Ground--




Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet 


Feels shorter than the Day 


I first surmised the Horses' Heads 


Were toward Eternity--

15. Gossamer: any thin, filmy material; a cobweb.

16. Tippet: scarf; Tulle: a fine, silky fabric or net.

20. Cornice: ornamental molding at the top edge of a wall.