Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > II. Nature > 7. “From cocoon forth a butterfly”

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

Part Two: Nature


FROM cocoon forth a butterfly
As lady from her door
Emerged—a summer afternoon—
Repairing everywhere,
Without design, that I could trace,        5
Except to stray abroad
On miscellaneous enterprise
The clovers understood.
Her pretty parasol was seen
Contracting in a field        10
Where men made hay, then struggling hard
With an opposing cloud,
Where parties, phantom as herself,
To Nowhere seemed to go
In purposeless circumference,        15
As ’t were a tropic show.
And notwithstanding bee that worked,
And flower that zealous blew,
This audience of idleness
Disdained them, from the sky,        20
Till sundown crept, a steady tide,
And men that made the hay,
And afternoon, and butterfly,
Extinguished in its sea.


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