Emily Dickinson

Tis So Much Joy!

poem 172

‘Tis so much joy! ‘Tis so much joy! If I should fail, what poverty! And yet, as poor as I, Have ventured all upon a throw! Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so This side the Victory! Life is but Life! And Death, but Death! Bliss is, but Bliss, and Breath but Breath! And if indeed I fail, At least, to know the worst, is sweet! Defeat means nothing but Defeat, No drearier, can befall! And if I gain! Oh Gun at Sea! Oh Bells, that in the Steeples be! At first, repeat it slow! For Heaven is a different thing, Conjectured, and waked sudden in And might extinguish me!

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