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Death is like the insect

by Emily Dickinson, 1896

Death is like the insect
  Menacing the tree,
Competent to kill it,
  But decoyed may be.

Bait it with the balsam,
  Seek it with the knife,
Baffle, if it cost you
  Everything in life.

Then, if it have burrowed
  Out of reach of skill,
Ring the tree and leave it, —
  'Tis the vermin's will.

Published in Poems by Emily Dickinson: Third Series

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