Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

First Robin


I dreaded that first robin so,
But he is mastered now,
And I'm accustomed to him grown,--
He hurts a little, though.

I thought if I could only live
Till that first shout got by,
Not all pianos in the woods
Had power to mangle me.

I dared not meet the daffodils,
For fear their yellow gown
Would pierce me with a fashion
So foreign to my own.

I wished the grass would hurry,
So when 't was time to see,
He'd be too tall, the tallest one
Could stretch to look at me.

I could not bear the bees should come,
I wished they'd stay away
In those dim countries where they go:
What word had they for me?

They're here, though; not a creature failed,
No blossom stayed away
In gentle deference to me,
The Queen of Calvary.

Each one salutes me as he goes,
And I my childish plumes
Lift, in bereaved acknowledgment
Of their unthinking drums.

Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2001
Edited: Monday, May 14, 2001

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  • Seanchai the Storyteller (11/28/2006 11:16:00 AM)

    I am convinced that this was written towards the end of Emily Dickinson's life when she knew she wouldn't last the year - dreading, yet anticipating the spring. So bittersweet, this awakening of the year! (Report) Reply

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