Is an imperial friend —
Or the most agonizing Spy —
An Enemy — could send —
Secure against its own —
No treason it can fear —
Itself — its Sovereign — Of itself
The Soul should stand in Awe —
F579 (1863) J683
Dickinson writes here about how self mastery and self dereliction play out at the deepest level ¬– within the soul. She presupposes a multiplicity of manifestations within the soul –which in its complexity and emanations we might today think of as the psyche.
Dickinson depicts a multiplicity of selves in various other poems. In "One need not be a Chamber—to be Haunted—" [F407], finding "Ourself behind ourself, concealed" is cause for fright. Encountering one's own self in some "lonesome Place" is worse than finding an assassin in the bedroom.
In "If your Nerve, deny you" [F329], the "you" is a sort of Controller positioned above the "Nerve" as well as the soul. "If your Nerve, deny you – / Go above your Nerve" …/ If your Soul seesaw – / Lift the Flesh door". I've been calling this sort of controller entity the aware Self.
Ah, but when the Soul is sovereign and "Secure against its own", then that inner soul should "stand in Awe". Dickinson herself expressed a kind of awe in "Through the straight Pass of Suffering" [F187] where the martyrs' souls are steadfast as a compass needle is to the "North Degree".
"The Soul selects her own Society" [F409] shows a different sort of sovereign soul. This one is self contained, self directed – and extremely discriminating.