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Contents > Author > Emily Dickinson > I cannot live with You -- 1830- 1886
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Emily Dickinson
I cannot live with You --
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I cannot live with You --
It would be Life --
And Life is over there --
Behind the Shelf

The Sexton keeps the Key to --
Putting up
Our Life -- His Porcelain --
Like a Cup --

Discarded of the Housewife --
Quaint -- or Broke --
A newer Sevres pleases --
Old Ones crack --

I could not die -- with You --
For One must wait
To shut the Other's Gaze down --
You -- could not --

And I -- Could I stand by
And see You -- freeze --
Without my Right of Frost --
Death's privilege?

Nor could I rise -- with You --
Because Your Face
Would put out Jesus' --
That New Grace

Glow plain -- and foreign
On my homesick Eye --
Except that You than He
Shone closer by --

They'd judge Us -- How --
For You -- served Heaven -- You know,
Or sought to --
I could not --

Because You saturated Sight --
And I had no more Eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise

And were You lost, I would be --
Though My Name
Rang loudest
On the Heavenly fame --

And were You -- saved --
And I -- condemned to be
Where You were not --
That self -- were Hell to Me --

So We must meet apart --
You there -- I -- here --
With just the Door ajar
That Oceans are -- and Prayer --
And that White Sustenance --
Despair --

(#640)
 

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