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If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.


(L)The famous only

existing photo

of Emily Dickinson at 16

(R)Is this a newly discovered

photo of her at age 28?


Read Emily's Poetry

First Lines to
Emily Dickinson's
public domain Poetry

A bird came down the walk

A charm invests a face

A clock stopped — not the mantel's

A death-blow is a life-blow to some
A deed knocks first at thought
A dew sufficed itself
A door just opened on a street
A drop fell on the apple tree
A face devoid of love or grace
A lady red upon the hill
A light exists in spring
A little road not made of man
A long, long sleep, a famous sleep
A modest lot, a fame petite,
A murmur in the trees to note
A narrow fellow in the grass
A poor torn heart, a tattered heart
A precious, mouldering pleasure 't is
A route of evanescence
A sepal, petal, and a thorn
A shady friend for torrid days
A sickness of this world it most
A sloop of amber slips away
A solemn thing it was, I said,
A something in a summer's day
A spider sewed at night
A thought went up my mind to-day
A throe upon the features
A toad can die of light!
A word is dead
A wounded deer leaps highest,
Adrift! A little boat adrift!
Afraid? Of whom am I afraid?
After a hundred years
All overgrown by cunning moss,
Alter? When the hills do.
Ample make this bed
An altered look about the hills;
An awful tempest mashed the air
An everywhere of silver
Angels in the early morning
Apparently with no surprise
Arcturus is his other name
Are friends delight or pain?
As by the dead we love to sit
As children bid the guest good-night
As far from pity as complaint
As if some little Arctic flower
As imperceptibly as grief
Ashes denote that fire was;
At half-past three a single bird
At last to be identified!
At least to pray is left, is left
Because I could not stop for Death
Before I got my eye put out
Before the ice is in the pools
Before you thought of spring
Belshazzar had a letter
Bereaved of all, I went abroad
Besides the autumn poets sing
Blazing in gold and quenching in purple,
Bless God, he went as soldiers
Bring me the sunset in a cup
Come slowly, Eden!
Could I but ride indefinite
Could mortal lip divine
Dare you see a soul at the white heat?
Dear March, come in!
Death is a dialogue between
Death is like the insect
Death sets a thing significant
Delayed till she had ceased to know
Delight becomes pictorial
Departed to the judgment
Did the harebell loose her girdle
Doubt me, my dim companion!
Drab habitation of whom?
Drowning is not so pitiful
Each life converges to some centre
Each that we lose takes part of us
Elysium is as far as to
Essential oils are wrung
Except the heaven had come so near
Except to heaven, she is nought
Experiment to me
Exultation is the going
Far from love the Heavenly Father
Farther in summer than the birds
Fate slew him, but he did not drop
Father, I bring thee not myself
Few get enough, enough is one
Finite to fail, but infinite to venture
For each ecstatic instant
Forbidden fruit a flavor has
Frequently the woods are pink
From all the jails the boys and girls
From cocoon forth a butterfly
From us she wandered now a year
Given in marriage unto thee
Glee! The great storm is over!
God gave a loaf to every bird
God made a little gentian
God permits industrious angels
Going to heaven
"Going to him! Happy letter! Tell him
Good night!which put the candle out?
Great streets of silence led away
Have you got a brook in your little heart
He ate and drank the precious words
He fumbles at your spirit
He preached upon "breadth"
He put the belt around my life
He touched me, so I live to know
Heart not so heavy as mine
Heart, we will forget him!
Heaven is what I cannot reach!
Her final summer was it
High from the earth I heard a bird
His bill an auger is
Hope is a subtle glutton
Hope is the thing with feathers
How dare the robins sing
How happy is the little stone
How many times these low feet staggered
How still the bells in steeples stand
How the old mountains drip with sunset
I asked no other thing
I breathed enough to learn the trick
I bring an unaccustomed wine
I can wade grief
I cannot live with you
I died for beauty, but was scarce
I dreaded that first robin so
I envy seas whereon he rides
I felt a clearing in my mind
I felt a funeral in my brain
I found the phrase to every thought
I gained it so
I gave myself to him
I had a daily bliss
I had a guinea golden
I had been hungry all the years
I had no cause to be awake
I had no time to hate, because
I have a king who does not speak
I have no life but this
I have not told my garden yet
I heard a fly buzz when I died
I held a jewel in my fingers
I hide myself within my flower
I know a place where summer strives
I know some lonely houses off the road
I know that he exists
I like a look of agony
I like to see it lap the miles
I live with him, I see his face
I lived on dread; to those who know
I lost a world the other day
I many times thought peace had come
I meant to find her when I came
I meant to have but modest needs
I measure every grief I meet
I never hear the word "escape"
I never lost as much but twice
I never saw a moor
I noticed people disappeared
I read my sentence steadily
I reason, earth is short
I shall know why, when time is over
I should have been too glad, I see
I should not dare to leave my friend
I sing to use the waiting
I started early, took my dog
I stepped from plank to plank
I taste a liquor never brewed
I think just how my shape will rise
I think the hemlock likes to stand
I took my power in my hand
I went to heaven
I went to thank her
I wish I knew that woman's name
I wonder if the sepulchre
I worked for chaff, and earning wheat
I years had been from home
I'll tell you how the sun rose
I'm ceded, I've stopped being theirs
I'm nobody! Who are you?
I'm wife; I've finished that
I've got an arrow here
I've seen a dying eye
If I can stop one heart from breaking
If I may have it when it's dead
If I should die
If I shouldn't be alive
If anybody's friend be dead
If recollecting were forgetting
If the foolish call them 'flowers'
If tolling bell I ask the cause
If you were coming in the fall
Immortal is an ample word
In lands I never saw, they say
Is Heaven a physician?
Is bliss, then, such abyss
It can't be summer, that got through
It dropped so low in my regard
It is an honorable thought
It makes no difference abroad
It might be easier
It sifts from leaden sieves
It sounded as if the streets were running
It struck me every day
It tossed and tossed
It was not death, for I stood up
It was too late for man
It's like the light
It's such a little thing to weep
Just lost when I was saved!
Lay this laurel on the one
Let down the bars, O Death!
Let me not mar that perfect dream
Life, and Death, and Giants
Like mighty footlights burned the red
Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
Look back on time with kindly eyes
Love is anterior to life

Me! Come! My dazzled face
Mine by the right of the white election!
Mine enemy is growing old
Morning is the place for dew
Morns like these we parted
Much madness is divinest sense
Musicians wrestle everywhere
My cocoon tightens, colors tease
My country need not change her gown
My friend must be a bird
My life closed twice before its close
My river runs to thee
My worthiness is all my doubt
Nature rarer uses yellow
Nature, the gentlest mother
New feet within my garden go
No brigadier throughout the year
No rack can torture me
Not any higher stands the grave
Not in this world to see his face
Not knowing when the dawn will come
Not with a club the heart is broken
Of all the souls that stand create
Of all the sounds despatched abroad
Of bronze and blaze
Of tribulation these are they
On such a night, or such a night
On the bleakness of my lot
On this long storm the rainbow rose
On this wondrous sea
One blessing had I, than the rest
One day is there of the series
One dignity delays for all
One need not be a chamber to be haunted
One of the ones that Midas touched
Our journey had advanced
Our lives are Swiss
Our share of night to bear
Pain has an element of blank
Perhaps you'd like to buy a flower?
Pigmy seraphs gone astray
Pink, small, and punctual
Pompless no life can pass away
Poor little heart!
Portraits are to daily faces
Prayer is the little implement
Presentiment is that long shadow
Proud of my broken heart
Read, sweet, how others strove
Remembrance has a rear and front
Remorse is memory awake
Safe in their alabaster chambers
She died, this was the way she died
She laid her docile crescent down
She rose to his requirement, dropped
She slept beneath a tree
She sweeps with many-colored brooms
She went as quiet as the dew
Sleep is supposed to be
So bashful when I spied her
So proud she was to die
Softened by Time's consummate plush
Some keep the Sabbath going to church
Some rainbow coming from the fair
Some things that fly there be
Some, too fragile for winter winds
Soul, wilt thou toss again?
South winds jostle them
Split the lark and you'll find the music
Step lightly on this narrow spot!
Success is counted sweetest
Summer for thee grant I may be
Superfluous were the sun
Superiority to fate
Surgeons must be very careful
Sweet hours have perished here
Sweet is the swamp with its secrets
Taken from men this morning
Talk with prudence to a beggar
That I did always love
That is solemn we have ended
That short, potential stir
That such have died enables us
The bat is dun with wrinkled wings
The bee is not afraid of me
The body grows outside
The bone that has no marrow
The brain is wider than the sky
The brain within its groove
The bustle in a house
The butterfly's assumption-gown
The clouds their backs together laid
The cricket sang
The day came slow, till five o'clock
The distance that the dead have gone
The dying need but little, dear
The farthest thunder that I heard
The gentian weaves her fringes
The grass so little has to do
The grave my little cottage is
The heart asks pleasure first
The last night that she lived
The leaves, like women, interchange
The moon is distant from the sea
The moon was but a chin of gold
The morns are meeker than they were
The mountain sat upon the plain
The murmur of a bee
The murmuring of bees has ceased
The mushroom is the elf of plants
The nearest dream recedes unrealized
The night was wide, and furnished scant
The one that could repeat the summer
The only ghost I ever saw
The past is such a curious creature
The pedigree of honey
The rat is the concisest tenant
The reticent volcano keeps
The robin is the one
The rose did caper on her cheek
The show is not the show
The skies can't keep their secret!
The sky is low, the clouds are mean
The soul selects her own society
The soul should always stand ajar
The soul unto itself
The spider as an artist
The springtime's pallid landscape
The stimulus, beyond the grave
The sun just touched the morning
The sun kept setting, setting still
The thought beneath so slight a film
The way I read a letter 's this
The wind begun to rock the grass
Their height in heaven comforts not
There came a day at summer's full
There came a wind like a bugle
There is a flower that bees prefer
There is a shame of nobleness
There is a word
There is no frigate like a book
There's a certain slant of light
There's been a death in the opposite house
There's something quieter than sleep
These are the days when birds come back
They dropped like flakes
They say that 'time assuages'
They won't frown always, some sweet day
This is the land the sunset washes
This merit hath the worst
This was in the white of the year
This world is not conclusion
Though I get home how late, how late
Three weeks passed since I had seen her
Through the straight pass of suffering
'T is so much joy! 'T is so much joy!
'T is sunrise, little maid, hast thou
'T is whiter than an Indian pipe
Tie the strings to my life, my Lord
To fight aloud is very brave
To hang our head ostensibly
To hear an oriole sing
To help our bleaker parts
To know just how he suffered
To learn the transport by the pain
To lose one's faith surpasses
To lose thee, sweeter than to gain
To make a prairie it takes a clover
To my quick ear the leaves conferred
To venerate the simple days
Triumph may be of several kinds
'T is little I could care for pearls
'T was a long parting, but the time
'T was just this time last year I died
'T was later when the summer went
'T was such a little, little boat
Two butterflies went out at noon
Two swimmers wrestled on the spar
Undue significance a starving man
Unto my books so good to turn
Upon the gallows hung a wretch
Victory comes late
Wait till the majesty of Death
Water is taught by thirst
We cover thee, sweet face
We learn in the retreating
We like March, his shoes are purple
We never know how high we are
We never know we go, when we are going
We outgrow love like other things
We play at paste
We thirst at first,'t is Nature's act
Went up a year this evening!
What if I say I shall not wait?
What inn is this
What mystery pervades a well!
What soft, cherubic creatures
When I hoped I feared
When I was small, a woman died
When night is almost done
When roses cease to bloom, dear
Where every bird is bold to go
Where ships of purple gently toss
Whether my bark went down at sea
While I was fearing it, it came
Who has not found the heaven below
Who never lost, are unprepared
Who never wanted, — maddest joy
Who robbed the woods
"Whose are the little beds," I asked
Wild nights! Wild nights!
Will there really be a morning?
Within my reach!
You cannot put a fire out
You left me, sweet, two legacies
You've seen balloons set, haven't you?
Your riches taught me poverty

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