'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,

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'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch, by Emily Dickinson
414

'Twas like a Maelstrom, with a notch,
That nearer, every Day,
Kept narrowing its boiling Wheel
Until the Agony

Toyed coolly with the final inch
Of your delirious Hem —
And you dropt, lost,
When something broke —
And let you from a Dream —

As if a Goblin with a Gauge —
Kept measuring the Hours —
Until you felt your Second
Weigh, helpless, in his Paws —

And not a Sinew — stirred — could help,
And sense was setting numb —
When God — remembered — and the Fiend
Let go, then, Overcome —

As if your Sentence stood — pronounced —
And you were frozen led
From Dungeon's luxury of Doubt
To Gibbets, and the Dead —

And when the Film had stitched your eyes
A Creature gasped "Reprieve"!
Which Anguish was the utterest — then —
To perish, or to live?


Poetry by Emily Dickinson (edit list):
By letter of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, Y.
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This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.