VISTAS: An awareness of a range of time, events, or subjects. A broad Mental View.

Because I could not stop for Death

Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death --
He kindly stopped for me --
The Carriage held but just Ourselves --
And Immortality. We slowly drove - he knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too.
For his Civility --
We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess - in the Ring --
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain --
We passed the Setting Sun --
Or rather - He passed Us --
The Dews drew quivering and chill --
For only Gossamer, my Gown --
My Tippet - only Tulle --
We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground --
The Roof was scarcely visible --
The Cornice - in the Ground --
Since then - "tis Centuries - and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmissed the Horses' heads
Were toward Eternity--

Dickinson, a generation younger than Poe, came along just in time to witness a mass movement in obituary poetry so widespread and so bathetically lugubrious that it became a joke. Mark Twain and others repeatedly made fun of the death poems of Julia A. Moore, who appears as Emmeline Grangerfield in Hucklberry Finn. "Because I could not stop for Death" personifies Death as a civil gentleman, not so different from Whitman's "lovely and soothing death" ("When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed) or even Keat's "easeful death" ("Ode to a Nightingale")