Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > V. The Single Hound > 146. “I did not reach thee”

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

Part Five: The Single Hound


I DID not reach thee,
But my feet slip nearer every day;
Three Rivers and a Hill to cross,
One Desert and a Sea—
I shall not count the journey one        5
When I am telling thee.
Two deserts—but the year is cold
So that will help the sand—
One desert crossed, the second one
Will feel as cool as land.        10
Sahara is too little price
To pay for thy Right hand!
The sea comes last. Step merry, feet!
So short have we to go
To play together we are prone,        15
But we must labor now,
The last shall be the lightest load
That we have had to draw.
The Sun goes crooked—that is night—
Before he makes the bend        20
We must have passed the middle sea,
Almost we wish the end
Were further off—too great it seems
So near the Whole to stand.
We step like plush, we stand like snow—        25
The waters murmur now,
Three rivers and the hill are passed,
Two deserts and the sea!
Now Death usurps my premium
And gets the look at Thee.        30


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