Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > I. Life > 8. “A wounded deer leaps highest”
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Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part One: Life

VIII


A WOUNDED deer leaps highest,
I ’ve heard the hunter tell;
’T is but the ecstasy of death,
And then the brake is still.
  
The smitten rock that gushes,        5
The trampled steel that springs:
A cheek is always redder
Just where the hectic stings!
  
Mirth is the mail of anguish,
In which it caution arm,        10
Lest anybody spy the blood
And “You ’re hurt” exclaim!

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