[“Better — than Music! For I — who heard it —”] J503 F378 (ASL)

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Image description: Eric Epstein, a white young man with short brown hair, wearing a gray T-shirt and dark gray pants. He is standing on a grassy square. The background consists of trees and a brick wall. He is signing “FREEDOM.”

[“Better — than Music! For I — who heard it —”] by Emily Dickinson

Better — than Music! For I — who heard it —
I was used — to the Birds — before —
This — was different — ‘Twas Translation —
Of all tunes I knew — and more —

‘Twasn’t contained — like other stanza —
No one could play it — the second time —
But the Composer — perfect Mozart —
Perish with him — that Keyless Rhyme!

So — Children — told how Brooks in Eden —
Bubbled a better — Melody —
Quaintly infer — Eve’s great surrender —
Urging the feet — that would — not — fly —

Children — matured — are wiser — mostly —
Eden — a legend — dimly told —
Eve — and the Anguish — Grandame’s story —
But — I was telling a tune — I heard —

Not such a strain — the Church — baptizes —
When the last Saint — goes up the Aisles —
Not such a stanza splits the silence —
When the Redemption strikes her Bells —

Let me not spill — its smallest cadence —
Humming — for promise — when alone —
Humming — until my faint Rehearsal —
Drop into tune — around the Throne —

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