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

Part One: Life


DARE you see a soul at the white heat?

Then crouch within the door.

Red is the fire’s common tint;

But when the vivid ore

Has sated flame’s conditions,

Its quivering substance plays

Without a color but the light

Of unanointed blaze.

Least village boasts its blacksmith,

Whose anvil’s even din

Stands symbol for the finer forge

That soundless tugs within,

Refining these impatient ores

With hammer and with blaze,

Until the designated light

Repudiate the forge.