1 Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine

Written in March 1850 [she was 19]. She didn’t title her poems, so people use the first line and/or a number. My numbers are from the Franklin Variorum Edition.

Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,

unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

                              — — —

Oh the Earth was made for lovers, for damsel, and hopeless swain,

for sighing, and gentle whispering, and unity made of twain,

all things do go a courting, in earth, or sea, or air,

God hath made nothing single but thee in his world so fair!

The bride, and then the bridegroom, the two, and then the one,

Adam, and Eve, his consort, the moon, and then the sun;

the life doth prove the precept, who obey shall happy be,

who will not serve the sovereign, be hanged on fatal tree.

The high do seek the lowly, the great do seek the small,

none cannot find who seeketh on this terrestrial ball;

The bee doth court the flower, the flower his suit receives,

and they make a merry wedding, whose guests are hundred leaves;

the wind doth woo the branches, the branches they are won,

and the father fond demandeth the maiden for his son.

The storm doth walk the seashore humming a mournful tune,

the wave with eye so pensive, looketh to see the moon,

their spirits meet together, they make them solemn vows,

no more he singeth mournful, her sadness she doth lose.

The worm doth woo the mortal, death clains a living bride,

night unto day is married, morn unto eventide;

Earth is a merry damsel, and Heaven a knight so true,

and Earth is quite coquettish, and he seemeth in vain to sue.

Now to the application, to the reading of the roll,

to bringing thee to justice, and marshalling thy soul;

thou art a human solo, a being cold, and lone,

wilt have no kind companion, thou reap’st what thou hast sown.

Hast never silent hours, and minutes all too long,

and a deal of sad reflection, and wailing instead of song?

There’s Sarah, and Eliza, and Emeline so fair,

and Harriet, and Susan, and she with curling hair!

Thine eyes are sadly blinded, but yet thou mayest see

six true, and comely maidens sitting opon the tree;

approach that tree with caution, then up it boldly climb,

and seize the one thou lovest, nor care for space, or time!

Then bear her to the greenwood, and build for her a bower,

and give her what she asketh, jewel, or bird, or flower;

and bring the fife, and trumpet, and beat opon the drum –

and bid the world Goodmorrow, and go to glory home!

[Emily Dickinson]

Love –





About the author

Bethany Ramus

Bethany | ביתענה – household of response, occupation, affliction, and Divine Presence.

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