The Snake

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).
1A narrow fellow in the grass
2Occasionally rides;
3You may have met him,--did you not,
4His notice sudden is.
5The grass divides as with a comb,
6A spotted shaft is seen;
7And then it closes at your feet
8And opens further on.
9He likes a boggy acre,
10A floor too cool for corn.
12I more than once at morn,
13Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
14Unbraiding in the sun,--
15When, stooping to secure it,
16It wrinkled, and was gone.
17Several of nature's people
18I know, and they know me;
19I feel for them a transport
20Of cordiality;
21But never met this fellow,
22Attended or alone,
23Without a tighter breathing,
24And zero at the bone.


11] child: the existing manuscript version of poem 986, 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: II, 1137-39; set 6c; PS 1541 A1 1981 ROBA), reads "boy". Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1997.