- Year Published: 1896
- Language: English
- Country of Origin: United States of America
- Source: Dickenson, E. (1896). The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two.Boston, MA: Roberts Brothers.
- Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.6
- Word Count: 140
Dickinson, E. (1896). Time and Eternity, Poem 21. The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved September 23, 2023, from
Dickinson, Emily. "Time and Eternity, Poem 21." The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two. Lit2Go Edition. 1896. Web. <>. September 23, 2023.
Emily Dickinson, "Time and Eternity, Poem 21," The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Series Two, Lit2Go Edition, (1896), accessed September 23, 2023,.
If anybody's friend be dead,
It 's sharpest of the theme
The thinking how they walked alive,
At such and such a time.
Their costume, of a Sunday,
Some manner of the hair, —
A prank nobody knew but them,
Lost, in the sepulchre.
How warm they were on such a day:
You almost feel the date,
So short way off it seems; and now,
They 're centuries from that.
How pleased they were at what you said;
You try to touch the smile,
And dip your fingers in the frost:
When was it, can you tell,
You asked the company to tea,
Acquaintance, just a few,
And chatted close with this grand thing
That don't remember you?
Past bows and invitations,
Past interview, and vow,
Past what ourselves can estimate, —
That makes the quick of woe!