Tie the Strings to my Life, My Lord,
Then, I am ready to go!
Just a look at the Horses —
Rapid! That will do!

Put me in on the firmest side —
So I shall never fall —
For we must ride to the Judgment —
And it’s partly, down Hill —

But never I mind the steeper —
And never I mind the Sea —
Held fast in Everlasting Race —
By my own Choice, and Thee —

Goodbye to the Life I used to live —
And the World I used to know —
And kiss the Hills, for me, just once —
Then — I am ready to go!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Tie the Strings to my Life, My Lord,


  1. frumpo says:

    Lord, take me and I will be yours, even though life without You is beautiful, and life with You will be like a downhill horse race into the sea.

  2. Phyllis says:

    Correction to my last critique –The last line of the
    poem is not ‘then I am ready to go’ but ‘now I am ready to go’. Fareweall is a typo and I love you belonged to a letter that was in my word processor.

  3. Phyllis Trieber says:

    The first line ‘Tie–‘ is the first revelation that this is no ordinary journey. It is a prayer asking for
    the right path for her to live and die. The 2nd line ‘then I am ready to go.’ could refer to the beginning of the end of Emilys or anyones’ life.
    The 3rd and 4th lines: ‘Just a look at the horses,
    rapid – that will do’ may refer to her longing only
    to know that she is transitioning but asks that it be
    rapid. (Refer to the gentleman caller driving
    the carraige in ‘Because I could not stop for death’)
    The next stanza. ‘Put me in -and ending ‘–partly
    down hill’ gives an insight into her heart felt belief or knowledge of immortaliy. The next line of this poem starting ‘But never I mind the steepers’and the next ending ‘–sea’ refers to her acceptance that she has chosen the hills and if they are steeper -it is her choice, her free will; this belief is reinforced in the next two lines..’held fast in everlasting race, by my own choice and Thee.’ This poems name is ‘Farewell. The last 2 stanzas always bring me tears of sad beauty-beginning with; ‘say goodbye to the life I used to know’- and ending in ‘kiss the hills for me just once, then I am ready to go.’ The word ‘steeper’ was changed to ‘bridges’ by one editor. Thank you to this website for staying with Emily’s own words. Fareweall, I love you.

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