Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Two: Love 21. Your riches taught me poverty

Your riches taught me poverty.

Myself a millionnaire

In little wealths, -- as girls could boast, --

Till broad as Buenos Ayre,

You drifted your dominions

A different Peru;

And I esteemed all poverty,

For life's estate with you.

Of mines I little know, myself,

But just the names of gems, --

The colors of the commonest;

And scarce of diadems

So much that, did I meet the queen,

Her glory I should know:

But this must be a different wealth,

To miss it beggars so.

I 'm sure 't is India all day

To those who look on you

Without a stint, without a blame, --

Might I but be the Jew!

I 'm sure it is Golconda,

Beyond my power to deem, --

To have a smile for mine each day,

How better than a gem!

At least, it solaces to know

That there exists a gold,

Although I prove it just in time

Its distance to behold!

It 's far, far treasure to surmise,

And estimate the pearl

That slipped my simple fingers through

While just a girl at school!