47: Because I could not stop for death by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.


We slowly drove – He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labor and my leisure too,

For His Civility –


We passed the School, where Children strove

At Recess – in the Ring –

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

We passed the Setting Sun –


Or rather – He passed us –

The Dews drew quivering and chill –

For only Gossamer, my Gown –

My Tippet – only Tulle –


We paused before a House that seemed

A Swelling of the Ground –

The Roof was scarcely visible –

The Cornice – in the Ground –


Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I first surmised the Horses’ Heads

Were toward Eternity –



This poem can be found in the volume, The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.

Think about how the poem made you feel? Do you feel envious of the character’s ability to accept her inevitability, even speaking fondly of it? Does the last stanza’s promise of centuries after death give you hope for what may be beyond death’s carriage?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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