My Life Had Stood -- A Loaded Gun --

Emily Dickinson

My Life had stood -- a Loaded Gun --
In Corners -- till a Day
The Owner passed -- identified --
And carried Me away --

And now We roam in Sovreign Woods --
And now We hunt the Doe --
And every time I speak for Him --
The Mountains straight reply --

And do I smile, such cordial light
Upon the Valley glow --
It is as a Vesuvian face
Had let it's pleasure through --

And when at Night -- Our good Day done --
I guard My Master's Head --
'Tis better than the Eider-Duck's
Deep Pillow -- to have shared --

To foe of His -- I'm deadly foe --
None stir the second time --
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye --
Or an Emphatic Thumb --

Though I than He -- may longer live
He longer must -- than I --
For I have but the power to kill,
Without -- the power to die --

(c. 1863)

This is my favorite Dickinson poem. In an earlier version of this page several years ago, I wrote: "I was unable to locate it anywhere in the Web, so I put it there myself." This was true in mid-1995, but times have changed very much. You should be able to find additional sites for this poem via Google very easily.

Find books by and about Emily Dickinson @ Amazon.

Alternatively, go back to my List of Tauben.

Christian Taube, <christian at>
Last change: 29.01.2004