Awake ye muses nine, sing me a strain divine,
Unwind the solemn twine, and tie my Valentine!

Oh the Earth was made for lovers, for damsel, and hopeless swain,
For sighing, and gentle whispering, and unity made of twain.
All things do go a courting, in earth, or sea, or air,
God hath made nothing single but thee in His world so fair!
The bride, and then the bridegroom, the two, and then the one,
Adam, and Eve, his consort, the moon, and then the sun;
The life doth prove the precept, who obey shall happy be,
Who will not serve the sovereign, be hanged on fatal tree.
The high do seek the lowly, the great do seek the small,
None cannot find who seeketh, on this terrestrial ball;
The bee doth court the flower, the flower his suit receives,
And they make merry wedding, whose guests are hundred leaves;
The wind doth woo the branches, the branches they are won,
And the father fond demandeth the maiden for his son.
The storm doth walk the seashore humming a mournful tune,
The wave with eye so pensive, looketh to see the moon,
Their spirits meet together, they make their solemn vows,
No more he singeth mournful, her sadness she doth lose.
The worm doth woo the mortal, death claims a living bride,
Night unto day is married, morn unto eventide;
Earth is a merry damsel, and heaven a knight so true,
And Earth is quite coquettish, and beseemeth in vain to sue.
Now to the application, to the reading of the roll,
To bringing thee to justice, and marshalling thy soul:
Thou art a human solo, a being cold, and lone,
Wilt have no kind companion, thou reap’st what thou hast sown.
Hast never silent hours, and minutes all too long,
And a deal of sad reflection, and wailing instead of song?
There’s Sarah, and Eliza, and Emeline so fair,
And Harriet, and Susan, and she with curling hair!
Thine eyes are sadly blinded, but yet thou mayest see
Six true, and comely maidens sitting upon the tree;
Approach that tree with caution, then up it boldly climb,
And seize the one thou lovest, nor care for space, or time!
Then bear her to the greenwood, and build for her a bower,
And give her what she asketh, jewel, or bird, or flower —
And bring the fife, and trumpet, and beat upon the drum —
And bid the world Goodmorrow, and go to glory home!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem Awake ye muses nine

38 Comments

  1. madison says:

    this peom was written at the turn of the century. it is now a century later. the poets back then used different connotations and grammer than we do today, nearly a century later. of course its not going to be the english you would be used to! they had a much more dignified and refined life back then, unlike today.

  2. Moi says:

    Agreed, very nice poem.

  3. Juan says:

    I’m a teacher of English as a foreign language in Spain and I have I degree in English. I have studied some English and American literature and to this day I never thought much of Emily Dickinson. But I know how highly-esteemed she is over there so I knew I had to reread her works and really think about them. This is just what I have started doing. I’m glad I found this web site, thank you!

    These are just my impressions on this poem at this time:

    I think this poem is about Love and how we all need it to live a full and happy life. Dickinson also refers to the way opposites attract (the ying and the yang in some Eastern cultures) and she gives us many wonderful images from nature:

    The bee doth court the flower, the flower his suit receives,
    And they make merry wedding, whose guests are hundred leaves;

    Those lines are among the most beautiful ones I have read in a long time and I mean it.

    Of course, a sensitive person as she no doubt was, she praises the Lord, her maker, the maker of all of us (as she sees it) and also of our beautiful environment and the entire Earth, created by God.

    I’ll be glad to discuss poetry with serious readers either here, in the forum or via email.

    Thanks again for this great site.

    Juan

  4. angelia says:

    that is a beautiful poem that you rote

  5. sam says:

    this poem ws written in old english times and is a very appearsnceive poem and you can see the uniquenees.

  6. shannon says:

    ok, so were living in the United States, right? so do you think she could use english?! :0

  7. Ron Bluestein says:

    Reading the comments on Dickinson’s “Awake ye muses nine” makes me fear not only for the state of reading poetry in the United States, but the state of sanity in my homeland. Not one person noted that this poem is written in classic alexandrine couplets, an unusual form for anyone and the first poem I’ve ever seen by the Poetess that is not in hymn meter. And she does it very well, unlike anyone else; certainly a far cry from the classic couplets of Pope and Dryden. Is there anything our wonderful Emily can not do?

  8. Jodde says:

    Frankly I think it’s absolutely brilliant how Dickinson is able to weave together the Old and New Testament. The references to Adam and Eve are obvious, and it is obvious that these people are written of in the Old Testament. After explaining how Adam and Eve were the original lovers and that the Earth was made for them, she rewords Jesus’ “seek and ye shall find” and does so beautifully. The poem seems to be about seeking love, and Dickinson is confident that she will find it. Though she may have never found it in a marital sense, she certainly found it in the adoration of her work. Anyway, the whole poem illustrates her brilliant use of Scripture.

  9. Mollie says:

    This poem is like…totally confusing…like i dont understand!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Kaity says:

    Won’t you go do something with your life…like take spelling lessons! yea..i said it! OH, and Mark.. who cares?!?

  11. Emily says:

    I love Emily Dickinson’c poems. I have to do a thing on her. i have to dress and act like her it’s really cool

  12. Angela says:

    This poem was pretty ggod

  13. Cassie says:

    I love this Poet. One of my true favorates~!!!

  14. zhangxia says:

    I love her poems.nothing can beat her except the beauty of her poems

  15. bridget says:

    i
    realy love her poems.

  16. anna says:

    its sucks really bad. jus playin its good but not as good as mine.

  17. kelseyyy says:

    wow okay shes a goooood poet. yup

  18. Brad says:

    Dickinson is one of the most eloquent, articulate, and talented poets of all time. She ranks among the likes of great poets such as: Robert Frost, Edgar Allen Poe, and Dante Alighieri.

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