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He fumbles at your spirit

by Emily Dickinson, 1896

He fumbles at your spirit
  As players at the keys
Before they drop full music on;
  He stuns you by degrees,

Prepares your brittle substance
  For the ethereal blow,
By fainter hammers, further heard,
  Then nearer, then so slow

Your breath has time to straighten,
  Your brain to bubble cool, —
Deals one imperial thunderbolt
  That scalps your naked soul.

Published in Poems by Emily Dickinson: Third Series

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