After Great Pain
After great pain a formal feeling comes-
The Nerves sit ceremonious like Tombs;
The stiff heart questions- was it He that bore
And Yesterday- or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round
A Wooden way
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone.
This is the Hour of Lead
Remembered if outlived,
As Freezing persons recollect the Snow-
First Chill- then Stupor- then the letting go.
– Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)