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“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
I Had To 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 Grazing 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 Barely 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 –
Why is Death personified as a
gentleman, a lover?
Why is Death dramatized as a date, a
rendezvous?
How does this poem prompt you to
think and feel about your own death?

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Because i could not stop for death