Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > I. Life > 117. “I have a king who does not speak”

Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part One: Life


I HAVE a king who does not speak;
So, wondering, thro’ the hours meek
  I trudge the day away,—
Half glad when it is night and sleep,
If, haply, thro’ a dream to peep        5
  In parlors shut by day.
And if I do, when morning comes,
It is as if a hundred drums
  Did round my pillow roll,
And shouts fill all my childish sky,        10
And bells keep saying “victory”
  From steeples in my soul!
And if I don’t, the little Bird
Within the Orchard is not heard,
  And I omit to pray,        15
“Father, thy will be done” to-day,
For my will goes the other way,
  And it were perjury!


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