Emily Dickinson

I Measure Every Grief I Meet

I measure every Grief I meet With narrow, probing, Eyes– I wonder if It weighs like Mine– Or has an Easier size. I wonder if They bore it long– Or did it just begin– I could not tell the Date of Mine– It feels so old a pain– I wonder if it hurts to live– And if They have to try– And whether–could They choose between– It would not be–to die– I note that Some–gone patient long– At length, renew their smile– An imitation of a Light That has so little Oil– I wonder if when Years have piled– Some Thousands–on the Harm– That hurt them early–such a lapse Could give them any Balm– Or would they go on aching still Through Centuries of Nerve– Enlightened to a larger Pain– In Contrast with the Love– The Grieved–are many–I am told– There is the various Cause– Death–is but one–and comes but once– And only nails the eyes– There’s Grief of Want–and grief of Cold– A sort they call Despair– There’s Banishment from native Eyes– In Sight of Native Air– And though I may not guess the kind– Correctly–yet to me A piercing Comfort it affords In passing Calvary– To note the fashions–of the Cross– And how they’re mostly worn– Still fascinated to presume That Some–are like My Own–

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