Better Than Music
By Emily Dickinson


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Better Than Music
By Emily Dickinson

Better than music, for I who heard it,
I was used to the birds before;
This was different, ’twas translation
Of all tunes I knew, and more;

’Twasn’t contained like other stanza,
No one could play it the second time
But the composer, perfect Mozart,
Perish with him that keyless rhyme!

So children, assured that brooks in Eden
Bubbled a better melody,
Quaintly infer Eve’s great surrender,
Urging the feet that would not fly.

Children matured are wiser, mostly,
Eden a legend dimly told,
Eve and the anguish grandame’s story –
But I was telling a tune I heard.

Not such a strain the church baptizes
When the last saint goes up the aisles,
Not such a stanza shakes the silence
When the redemption strikes her bells.

Let me not lose its smallest cadence,
Humming for promise when alone,
Humming until my faint rehearsal
Drop into tune around the throne!