The purple host in Emily Dickinson's poem, "Success Is Counted Sweetest", refers to an army. The line following "purple host" in the stanza mentions how the enemy's flag was taken, symbolizing victory for the army.
The third stanza refers to a defeated soldier who is dying and how it is he who understands the true meaning of victory, hearing the victorious soldiers' boisterous celebration.
A third point of view is used to talk about a battle in the poem. One of the poem's themes is that only failures fully comprehend the meaning of success. This lyric poem, which is a three-stanza poem with an ABCB rhyme scheme, was written in 1859.