Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > IV. Time & Eternity > 76. “I should not dare to leave my friend”

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

Part Four: Time and Eternity


I SHOULD not dare to leave my friend,
Because—because if he should die
While I was gone, and I—too late—
Should reach the heart that wanted me;
If I should disappoint the eyes        5
That hunted, hunted so, to see,
And could not bear to shut until
They “noticed” me—they noticed me;
If I should stab the patient faith
So sure I ’d come—so sure I ’d come,        10
It listening, listening, went to sleep
Telling my tardy name,—
My heart would wish it broke before,
Since breaking then, since breaking then,
Were useless as next morning’s sun,        15
Where midnight frosts had lain!


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