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Contents > Author > Emily Dickinson > I measure every Grief I meet 1830- 1886
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Emily Dickinson
I measure every Grief I meet
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I measure every Grief I meet
With narrow, probing, 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 --
It would not be -- to die --

I note that Some -- gone patient long --
At length, renew their smile --
An imitation of a Light
That has so little Oil --

I wonder if when Years have piled --
Some Thousands -- on the Harm --
That hurt them early -- such a lapse
Could give them any Balm --

Or would they go on aching still
Through Centuries of Nerve --
Enlightened to a larger Pain -
In Contrast with the Love --

The Grieved -- are many -- I am told --
There is the various Cause --
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 --
And how they're mostly worn --
Still fascinated to presume
That Some -- are like My Own --

(#561)

 

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