My Portion is Defeat — today —
A paler luck than Victory —
Less Paeans — fewer Bells —
The Drums don’t follow Me — with tunes —
Defeat — a somewhat slower — means —
More Arduous than Balls —

‘Tis populous with Bone and stain —
And Men too straight to stoop again –,
And Piles of solid Moan —
And Chips of Blank — in Boyish Eyes —
And scraps of Prayer —
And Death’s surprise,
Stamped visible — in Stone —

There’s somewhat prouder, over there —
The Trumpets tell it to the Air —
How different Victory
To Him who has it — and the One
Who to have had it, would have been
Contender — to die —

Analysis, meaning and summary of Emily Dickinson's poem My Portion is Defeat — today —

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