199 Success is Counted Sweetest (ca.1858-1865) By Emily Dickinson

[Published in “A Masque of Poets” at the request of “H.H.,” the author’s fellow-townswoman and friend.]

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

Not one of all the purple host
Who took the flag to-day
Can tell the definition,
So clear, of victory,

As he, defeated, dying,
On whose forbidden ear
The distant strains of triumph
Break, agonized and clear!



Poems Series 1, Emily Dickinson, Public Domain


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