Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
537. Nature
By Emily Dickinson

A LADY red upon the hill
  Her annual secret keeps;
A lady white within the field
  In placid lily sleeps!
The tidy breezes with their brooms        5
  Sweep vail, and hill, and tree!
Prithee, my pretty housewives!
  Who may expected be?
The neighbors do not yet suspect!
  The woods exchange a smile,—        10
Orchard, and buttercup, and bird,
  In such a little while!
And yet how still the landscape stands,
  How nonchalant the wood,
As if the resurrection        15
  Were nothing very odd!

THE MORNS are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.        20
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I ’ll put a trinket on.

THE SKY is low, the clouds are mean,
A travelling flake of snow
Across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.
A narrow wind complains all day
How someone treated him:        30
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.

GOD made a little gentian;
It tried to be a rose
And failed, and all the summer laughed;        35
But just before the snows
There came a purple creature
That ravished all the hill;
And summer hid her forehead,
And mockery was still.        40
The frosts were her condition;
The Tyrian would not come
Until the North evoked it:—
“Creator! shall I bloom?”


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