God is a distant — stately Lover —
Woos, as He states us — by His Son —
Verily, a Vicarious Courtship —
“Miles”, and “Priscilla”, were such an One —
But, lest the Soul — like fair “Priscilla”
Choose the Envoy — and spurn the Groom —
Vouches, with hyperbolic archness —
“Miles”, and “John Alden” were Synonym —
God the Father seems distant compared to the Son, but He commands us (mischievously) to believe that they are equal and have the same loving nature.
A wonderful poem. I couldn’t help but comment on this poem. This one seems to make me smile, despite myself, with Dickinson’s almost playful use of colonial legend. The Miles, John Alden and Priscilla refer to characters out of Longfellow’s rather long “The Courtship of Miles Standish.” To make it short, Miles sends John to woo Priscilla for him to go between them, but she falls for John instead! In the last line, where she muses on the issue of the human/divine aspect in God and Christ. This seems to be more than a passing thought for her, as it shows up in “I prayed at first, a little Girl.” Of course, as always, Emily Dickinson proves once again that she was entirely her own person.