The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series One

by Emily Dickinson

Life, Poem 4: Rouge Gagne

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1896
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Dickenson, E. (1896). The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series One.Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers.
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.6
  • Word Count: 113
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, american literature, emily dickinson, poems, poetry, series 1
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'T is so much joy! 'T is 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 prevail!

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 o'erwhelm me so!