Emily Dickinson's Collected Poems

Part Two: Love 22. I gave myself to him


I gave myself to him,

And took himself for pay.

The solemn contract of a life

Was ratified this way.

The wealth might disappoint,

Myself a poorer prove

Than this great purchaser suspect,

The daily own of Love

Depreciate the vision;

But, till the merchant buy,

Still fable, in the isles of spice,

The subtle cargoes lie.

At least, 't is mutual risk, --

Some found it mutual gain;

Sweet debt of Life, -- each night to owe,

Insolvent, every noon.