He told a homely tale
And spotted it with tears —
Upon his infant face was set
The Cicatrice of years —

All crumpled was the cheek
No other kiss had known
Than flake of snow, divided with
The Redbreast of the Barn —

If Mother — in the Grave —
Or Father — on the Sea —
Or Father in the Firmament —
Or Brethren, had he —

If Commonwealth below,
Or Commonwealth above
Have missed a Barefoot Citizen —
I’ve ransomed it — alive —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem He told a homely tale

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