Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > V. The Single Hound > 70. “In winter, in my room”

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

Part Five: The Single Hound


IN winter, in my room,
I came upon a worm,
Pink, lank, and warm.
But as he was a worm
And worms presume,        5
Not quite with him at home—
Secured him by a string
To something neighboring,
And went along.
A trifle afterward        10
A thing occurred,
I ’d not believe it if I heard—
But state with creeping blood;
A snake, with mottles rare,
Surveyed my chamber floor,        15
In feature as the worm before,
But ringed with power.
The very string
With which I tied him, too,
When he was mean and new,        20
That string was there.
I shrank—“How fair you are!”
Propitiation’s claw—
“Afraid,” he hissed,
“Of me?”        25
“No cordiality?”
He fathomed me.
Then, to a rhythm slim
Secreted in his form,
As patterns swim,        30
Projected him.
That time I flew,
Both eyes his way,
Lest he pursue—
Nor ever ceased to run,        35
Till, in a distant town,
Towns on from mine—
I sat me down;
This was a dream.


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