Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Emily Dickinson, fully Emily Elizabeth Dickinson

American Poet

"Such is the Force of Happiness— The Least—can lift a Ton Assisted by its stimulus— Who Misery—sustain— No Sinew can afford— The Cargo of Themselves— Too infinite for Consciousness' Slow capabilities. "

"Soul, Wilt thou toss again? By just such a hazard Hundreds have lost indeed— But tens have won an all— Angel's breathless ballot Lingers to record thee— Imps in eager Caucus Raffle for my Soul! "

"Suspense—is Hostiler than Death— Death—tho'soever Broad, Is Just Death, and cannot increase— Suspense—does not conclude— But perishes—to live anew— But just anew to die— Annihilation—plated fresh With Immortality— "

"A Bird came down the Walk – he did not know I saw – he bit an Angleworm in halves and ate the fellow, raw, and then he drank a Dew from a convenient Grass – and then hopped sidewise to the Wall to let a Beetle pass."

"A great hope fell, you heard no noise, the ruin was within."

"A power of Butterfly must be - the Aptitude to fly. Meadows of Majesty concedes and easy Sweeps of Sky."

"A charm invests a face imperfectly beheld,—the lady dare not lift her veil for fear it be dispelled. But peers beyond her mesh, and wishes, and denies,— lest interview annul a want that image satisfies."

"A precious mouldering pleasure 't is to meet an antique book, in just the dress his century wore; a privilege, I think, his venerable hand to take, and warming in our own, a passage back, or two, to make to times when he was young. His quaint opinions to inspect, his knowledge to unfold on what concerns our mutual mind. The literature of old; what interested scholars most, what competitions ran when Plato was a certainty, and Sophocles a man; when Sappho was a living girl, and Beatrice wore the gown that Dante deified. Facts, centuries before, he traverses familiar, as one should come to town and tell you all your dreams were true: he lived where dreams were born. His presence is enchantment, you beg him not to go; old volumes shake their vellum heads and tantalize just so."

"A word is dead when it's been said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day."

"A little Madness in the Spring is wholesome even for the King."

"A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone without corporeal friend."

"A wounded dear leaps the highest."

"A soft Sea washed around the House a Sea of Summer Air and rose and fell the magic Planks that sailed without a care — for Captain was the Butterfly for Helmsman was the Bee and an entire universe for the delighted crew."

"A Word that Breathes Distinctly"

"Afraid? Of whom am I afraid? Not death; for who is he? The porter of my father’s lodge as much abasheth me. Of life? ‘T were odd I fear a thing that comprehendeth me in one or more existences at Deity’s decree."

"After you went, a low wind warbled through the house like a spacious bird, making it high but lonely. When you had gone the love came. I supposed it would. The supper of the heart is when the guest has gone."

"Ample make this bed."

"After great pain, a formal feeling comes — the Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs — the stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore, and Yesterday, or Centuries before? The Feet, mechanical, go round — of Ground, or Air, or Ought — a Wooden way regardless grown, a Quartz contentment, like a stone — This is the Hour of Lead —Remembered, if outlived, as Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —"

"And somebody has lost the face that made existence home!"

"An ear can break a human heart as quickly as a spear, we wish the ear had not a heart so dangerously near."

"Anger as soon as fed is dead 'tis starving makes it fat."

"As he, defeated, dying, on whose forbidden ear the distant strains of triumph break, agonized and clear."

"Apparently with no surprise to any happy Flower the Frost beheads it at its play -- in accidental power - The blonde Assassin passes on -- the Sun proceeds unmoved to measure off another Day for an Approving God."

"Art is a house that tries to be haunted."

"Beauty is not caused. It is."

"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, and I had put away my labour, and my leisure too, for his civility. We passed the school where children played, their lessons scarcely done; we passed the fields of gazing grain, we passed the setting sun. We paused before a house that seemed a swelling of the ground; the roof was scarcely visible, the cornice but a mound. Since then 'tis centuries; but each feels shorter than the day I first surmised the horses' heads were toward eternity."

"Beauty crowds me till I die, beauty, mercy have on me! But if I expire today, let it be in sight of thee"

"Behavior is what a man does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes."

"Behind Me — dips Eternity — Before Me — Immortality — Myself — the Term between —"

"Bring me the sunset in a cup."

"Bless God, he went as soldiers, his musket on his breast— grant God, he charge the bravest of all the martial blest! Please God, might I behold him in epauletted white—I should not fear the foe then—I should not fear the fight!"

"But a Book is only the Heart's Portrait- every Page a Pulse."

"Celebrity is the chastisement of merit and the punishment of talent."

"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. Espousing the former is not defending the latter."

"Dogs are better than human beings because they know but do not tell."

"Could you tell me how to grow--or is it unconveyed--like Melody--or Witchcraft?"

"Did the harebell loose her girdle to the lover bee, would the bee the harebell hallow much as formerly?"

"Dreams — are well — but Waking's better, if One wake at Morn — if One wake at Midnight — better — dreaming — of the Dawn."

"Dogs are better than people."

"Drowning is not so pitiful as the attempt to rise."

"Dying is a wild night and a new road."

"Earth is a merry damsel, and heaven a knight so true."

"Existence has overpowered Books. Today I slew a Mushroom."

"Expectation is contentment - Gain satiety."

"Experiment escorts us last- his pungent company will not allow an axiom an opportunity."

"Earth is crammed with Heaven."

"Exultation is the going of an inland soul to sea past the houses, past the headlands into deep eternity! Bred as we, among the mountains can the sailor understand the divine intoxication of the first league out from land?"

"Faith - is the Pierless Bridge Supporting what We see Unto the Scene that We do not."

"Faith slips - and laughs, and rallies."

"Faith is a fine invention when gentlemen can see, but microscopes are prudent in an emergency."