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Contents > Author > Emily Dickinson > 'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch, 1830- 1886
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Emily Dickinson
'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
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'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
That nearer, every Day,
Kept narrowing its boiling Wheel
Until the Agony

Toyed coolly with the final inch
Of your delirious Hem --
And you dropt, lost,
When something broke --
And let you from a Dream --

As if a Goblin with a Gauge --
Kept measuring the Hours --
Until you felt your Second
Weigh, helpless, in his Paws --

And not a Sinew -- stirred -- could help,
And sense was setting numb --
When God -- remembered -- and the Fiend
Let go, then, Overcome --

As if your Sentence stood -- pronounced --
And you were frozen led
From Dungeon's luxury of Doubt
To Gibbets, and the Dead --

And when the Film had stitched your eyes
A Creature gasped "Reprieve"!
Which Anguish was the utterest -- then --
To perish, or to live?

(#414)
 

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