Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part One: Life 102. I had a guinea golden

I had a guinea golden;

I lost it in the sand,

And though the sum was simple,

And pounds were in the land,

Still had it such a value

Unto my frugal eye,

That when I could not find it

I sat me down to sigh.

I had a crimson robin

Who sang full many a day,

But when the woods were painted

He, too, did fly away.

Time brought me other robins, --

Their ballads were the same, --

Still for my missing troubadour

I kept the 'house at hame.'

I had a star in heaven;

One Pleiad was its name,

And when I was not heeding

It wandered from the same.

And though the skies are crowded,

And all the night ashine,

I do not care about it,

Since none of them are mine.

My story has a moral:

I have a missing friend, --

Pleiad its name, and robin,

And guinea in the sand, --

And when this mournful ditty,

Accompanied with tear,

Shall meet the eye of traitor

In country far from here,

Grant that repentance solemn

May seize upon his mind,

And he no consolation

Beneath the sun may find.

NOTE. -- This poem may have had, like many others, a personal origin. It is more than probable that it was sent to some friend travelling in Europe, a dainty reminder of letter-writing delinquencies.