Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > I. Life > 1. “Success is counted sweetest”
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Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part One: Life

I


SUCCESS is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
  
Not one of all the purple host        5
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,
  
As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear        10
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear.

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