Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > IV. Time & Eternity > 94. “How dare the robins sing”
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Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part Four: Time and Eternity

XCIV


HOW dare the robins sing,
  When men and women hear
Who since they went to their account
  Have settled with the year!—
Paid all that life had earned        5
  In one consummate bill,
And now, what life or death can do
  Is immaterial.
Insulting is the sun
  To him whose mortal light,        10
Beguiled of immortality,
  Bequeaths him to the night.
In deference to him
  Extinct be every hum,
Whose garden wrestles with the dew,        15
  At daybreak overcome!

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