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How dare the robins sing

by Emily Dickinson, 1896

How dare the robins sing,
  When men and women hear
Who since they went to their account
  Have settled with the year! —
Paid all that life had earned
  In one consummate bill,
And now, what life or death can do
  Is immaterial.
Insulting is the sun
  To him whose mortal light,
Beguiled of immortality,
  Bequeaths him to the night.
In deference to him
  Extinct be every hum,
Whose garden wrestles with the dew,
  At daybreak overcome!

Published in Poems by Emily Dickinson: Third Series

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