I make His Crescent fill or lack —
His Nature is at Full
Or Quarter — as I signify —
His Tides — do I control —

He holds superior in the Sky
Or gropes, at my Command
Behind inferior Clouds — or round
A Mist’s slow Colonnade —

But since We hold a Mutual Disc —
And front a Mutual Day —
Which is the Despot, neither knows —
Nor Whose — the Tyranny —

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1 Comment

  1. art chapman says:

    For me , anyway, part of the mystery of this strange poem is the identity of the speaker, the poet? God? neither? The first stanza is an apparent reference to the moon and its phases and its influence in the tides.
    Dickinson sees the moon as a disc to the sun, and the sun as a disc to the moon. Part of the strangeness is the personna infused in the two celestial bodies, and the suggested negative attribute of tyranny posed in the form of a question that the poet leaves unanswered.
    Reading Dickinson can be equally delightful and difficult!

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