Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > II. Nature > 14. “I dreaded that first robin so”
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Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part Two: Nature

XIV


I DREADED that first robin so,
But he is mastered now,
And I ’m accustomed to him grown,—
He hurts a little, though.
  
I thought if I could only live        5
Till that first shout got by,
Not all pianos in the woods
Had power to mangle me.
  
I dared not meet the daffodils,
For fear their yellow gown        10
Would pierce me with a fashion
So foreign to my own.
  
I wished the grass would hurry,
So when ’t was time to see,
He ’d be too tall, the tallest one        15
Could stretch to look at me.
  
I could not bear the bees should come,
I wished they ’d stay away
In those dim countries where they go:
What word had they for me?        20
  
They ’re here, though; not a creature failed,
No blossom stayed away
In gentle deference to me,
The Queen of Calvary.
  
Each one salutes me as he goes,        25
And I my childish plumes
Lift, in bereaved acknowledgment
Of their unthinking drums.

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