500 AP English Literature Questions to know by test day

CHAPTER 2. American Poetry

 

Passage 2. Emily Dickinson, “Success is counted sweetest ...”

 

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!