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--

4

And Immortality.

 

 

 

We slowly drove--he knew no haste

 

And I had put away 

 

My labor, and my leisure too, 

8

For his Civility--

 

 

 

We passed the School where Children strove 

 

At Recess--in the Ring--

 

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain--

12

We passed the Setting Sun--

 

 

 

Or rather--He passed Us-- 

 

The Dews drew quivering and chill--

 

For only Gossamer, my Gown--

16

My Tippet--only Tulle--

 

 

 

We paused before a House that seemed 

 

A Swelling of the Ground--

 

The Roof was scarcely visible--

20

The Cornice--in the Ground--

 

 

 

Since then--'tis Centuries--and yet 

 

Feels shorter than the Day 

 

I first surmised the Horses' Heads 

24

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.