Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
Then chase itself down Hill —
- Freed from the tunnel, it eagerly goes downhill. This line has a light, playful quality.
- But it also raises more questions about what the heck this thing is. How can something "chase itself"?
And neigh like Boanerges —
- The creature lets out a rumbling cry, or "neigh," which reminds us of its horse-like qualities from the first lines.
- The speaker compares it to Boanerges, a somewhat Biblical name that means "son of thunder," and generally refers to a booming, loud preacher or public speaker.
Then — punctual as a Star
Stop — docile and omnipotent
At its own stable door —
- At last, the creature stops, right on time, and placidly returns to its home, or "stable" (another horse reference to bear in mind).
- What can this mysterious, super-powerful animal be? It's up to you, dear reader, to figure that out from all of these clues – Dickinson never comes right out and gives an answer. Want to know what we think? Check out "Symbolism, Imagery, Wordplay."