POETRY: Emily Dickinson On Belief And Unbelief

Emily Dickinson On Belief And Unbelief

1260

Because that you are going
And never coming back
And I, however absolute,
May overlook your Track—

Because that Death is final,
However first it be,
This instant be suspended
Above Mortality—

Significance that each has lived
The other to detect
Discovery not God himself
Could now annihilate

Eternity, Presumption
The instant I perceive
That you, who were Existence
Yourself forgot to live—

The “Life that is” will then have been
A thing I never knew—
As Paradise fictitious
Until the Realm of you—

The “Life that is to be,” to me,
A Residence too plain
Unless in my Redeemer’s Face
I recognize your own—

Of Immortality who doubts
He may exchange with me
Curtailed by your obscuring Face
Of everything but He—

Of Heaven and Hell I also yield
The Right to reprehend
To whoso would commute this Face
For his less priceless Friend.

If “God is Love” as he admits
We think that he must be
Because he is a “jealous God”
He tells us certainly

If “All is possible with” him
As he besides concedes
He will refund us finally
Our confiscated Gods—

A Word dropped careless on a Page
May stimulate an eye
When folded in perpetual seam
The Wrinkled Maker lie

Infection in the sentence breeds
We may inhale Despair
At distances of Centuries
From the Malaria—

1270

Is Heaven a Physician?
They say that He can heal—
But Medicine Posthumous
Is unavailable—
Is Heaven an Exchequer?
They speak of what we owe—
But that negotiation
I’m not a Party to—

338

I know that He exists.
Somewhere—in Silence—
He has hid his rare life
From our gross eyes.

‘Tis an instant’s play.
‘Tis a fond Ambush—
Just to make Bliss
Earn her own surprise!

But—should the play
Prove piercing earnest—
Should the glee—glaze—
In Death’s—stiff—stare—

Would not the fun
Look too expensive!
Would not the jest—
Have crawled too far!

502

At least—to pray—is left—is left—
Oh Jesus—in the Air—
I know not which thy chamber is—
I’m knocking—everywhere—

Thou settest Earthquake in the South—
And Maelstrom, in the Sea—
Say, Jesus Christ of Nazareth—
Hast thou no Arm for Me?

376

Of Course—I prayed—
And did God Care?
He cared as much as on the Air
A Bird—had stamped her foot—
And cried “Give Me”—
My Reason—Life—
I had not had—but for Yourself—
‘Twere better Charity
To leave me in the Atom’s Tomb—
Merry, and Nought, and gay, and numb—
Than this smart Misery.

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