Safe in their alabaster chambers

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).
4Rafter of satin, and roof of stone.
6Babbles the bee in a stolid ear;
7Pipe the sweet birds in ignorant cadence,--
8Ah, what sagacity perished here!
9Grand go the years in the crescent above them;
12Soundless as dots on a disk of snow.


1] alabaster: hard, translucent, white mineral like gypsum used for sculpture and vases Back to Line
2] This line is separated between the words "morning" and "and" into two lines in the existing manuscript version of poem 216 (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, 193; fascicles 10; cf. I, 103, fascicle 6; PS 1541 A1 1981 ROBA). Back to Line
3] Sleep: the existing manuscript version reads "Lie". Back to Line
5] This stanza is missing in the existing manuscript version. Back to Line
10] This line is separated into two lines between the words "arcs" and "and" in the existing manuscript version. Back to Line
11] diadems: crowns
Doges: chief justices in Venice and Genoa Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.