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 today
Can tell the definition
So clear of Victory

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


Emily Dickinson


[Published in “A Masque of Poets”

at the request of “H.H.,” the author’s fellow-townswoman and friend.]