2 Sic transit gloria mundi

Written about 1852, when she was 21 – two years after the first poem.

Sic transit gloria mundi
“How doth the busy bee”
Dum vivamus vivamus
I stay mine enemy! –

Oh veni vidi vici!
Oh caput cap-a-pie!
And oh “memento mori”
When I am far from thee

Hurrah for Peter Parley
Hurrah for Daniel Boone
Three cheers sir, for the gentleman
Who first observed the moon –

Peter put up the sunshine!
Pattie arrange the stars
Tell Luna, tea is waiting
And call your brother Mars –

Put down the apple Adam
And come away with me
So shal’t thou have a pippin
From off my Father’s tree!

I climb the “Hill of Science”
I “view the Landscape o’er”
Such transcendental prospect
I ne’er beheld before! –

Unto the Legislature
My country bids me go,
I’ll take my india rubbers
In case the wind should blow.

During my education
It was announced to me
That gravitation stumbling
Fell from an apple tree –

The Earth opon it’s axis
Was once supposed to turn
By way of a gymnastic
In honor to the sun –

It was the brave Columbus
A sailing o’er the tide
Who notified the nations
Of where I would reside

Mortality is fatal
Gentility is fine
Rascality, heroic
Insolvency, subline

Our Fathers being weary
Laid down on Bunker Hill
And though full many a morn’g
Yet they are sleeping still

The trumped sir, shall wake them
In streams I see them rise
Each with a solemn musket
A marching to the skies!

A coward will remain, Sir,
Until the fight is done;
But an immortal hero
Will take his hat and run.

Good bye Sir, I am going
My country calleth me
Allow me Sir, at parting
To wipe my weeping e’e

In token of our friendship
Accept this “Bonnie Doon”
And when the hand that pluck’d it
Hath passed beyond the moon

The memory of my ashes
Will consolation be
Then farewell Tuscarora
And fare well Sir, to thee.

[Emily Dickinson]

Sic transit gloria mundi – Latin, “thus passes the glory of the world.”
Dum vivimus vivamus – Latin, “while we live, let us live.” [My book has dum vivamus vivamus as her text, so hers could be an intentional misspelling.]
Veni vidi vici – Latin, “I came, I saw, I conquered.”
Memento mori – Latin, “remember that you have to die.”
Tuscarora – Iroquois Native American tribe

Love –




About the author

Bethany Ramus

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

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