Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > IV. Time & Eternity > 53. “Death sets a thing significant”

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

Part Four: Time and Eternity


DEATH sets a thing significant
The eye had hurried by,
Except a perished creature
Entreat us tenderly
To ponder little workmanships        5
In crayon or in wool,
With “This was last her fingers did,”
Industrious until
The thimble weighed too heavy,
The stitches stopped themselves,        10
And then ’t was put among the dust
Upon the closet shelves.
A book I have, a friend gave,
Whose pencil, here and there,
Had notched the place that pleased him,—        15
At rest his fingers are.
Now, when I read, I read not,
For interrupting tears
Obliterate the etchings
Too costly for repairs.        20


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