I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through -

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum -
Kept beating - beating - till I thought
My mind was going numb -

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space - began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here -

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down -
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing - then -

Notes:

Note to POL students: The inclusion or omission of the numeral in the title of the poem should not affect the accuracy score. It is optional during recitation. 

  • Reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Trustees of Amherst College from The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, Ralph W. Franklin, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. © 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

  • Source: The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition (Harvard University Press, 1983)

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