The heart asks pleasure first

Original Text: 
Poems (1890-1896) by Emily Dickinson: A Facsimile Reproduction of the Original Volumes Issued in 1890, 1891, and 1896, with an Introduction by George Monteiro (Gainesville, Florida: Scholars' Facsimiles).
1The heart asks pleasure first,
2And then, excuse from pain;
4That deaden suffering;
5And then, to go to sleep;
6And then, if it should be
7The will of its Inquisitor,


3] anodynes: pain-killing drugs Back to Line
8] liberty: the existing manuscript version, poem 536, reads "privilege" (The Manuscript Books of Emily Dickinson, edited by R. W. Franklin in two volumes (Cambridge, Mass., and London: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1981: I, 586; fascicle 25; PS 1541 A1 1981 ROBA). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997