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Safe in their Alabaster Chambers by Emily Dickinson


"Safe in their Alabaster Chambers" is a poem written by Emily Dickinson. The version of this poem listed below is the one written by Dickinson sometime before 1859. This poem was one of her few works published during her lifetime. It was published in 1859 in the Southern Republican with several changes in the first and second stanza leaving the third stanza untouched. The version below is found in her manuscript and was first published in 1889.

This poem is written as three stanzas with four lines in each. She rhymes the second and fourth lines of each stanza. It is written in pairs where the first line is longer than the second.

Johnson number: 216


Safe in their Alabaster Chambers

Safe in their alabaster chambers,
Untouched by morning and untouched by noon,
Sleep the meek members of the resurrection,
Rafter of satin, and roof of stone.

Light laughs the breeze in her castle of sunshine;
Babbles the bee in a stolid ear;
Pipe the sweet birds in ignorant cadence, -
Ah, what sagacity perished here!

Grand go the years in the crescent above them;
Worlds scoop their arcs, and firmaments row,
Diadems drop and Doges surrender,
Soundless as dots on a disk of snow.

Next: She sweeps with many-colored brooms
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Literary Movement
19th Century

Nature, Snow

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