Emily Dickinson

(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts)

I meant to have but modest needs


476

I meant to have but modest needs—
Such as Content—and Heaven—
Within my income—these could lie
And Life and I—keep even—

But since the last—included both—
It would suffice my Prayer
But just for One—to stipulate—
And Grace would grant the Pair—

And so—upon this wise—I prayed—
Great Spirit—Give to me
A Heaven not so large as Yours,
But large enough—for me—

A Smile suffused Jehovah's face—
The Cherubim—withdrew—
Grave Saints stole out to look at me—
And showed their dimples—too—

I left the Place, with all my might—
I threw my Prayer away—
The Quiet Ages picked it up—
And Judgment—twinkled—too—
Tat one so honest—be extant—
It take the Tale for true—
That "Whatsoever Ye shall ask—
Itself be given You"—

But I, grown shrewder—scan the Skies
With a suspicious Air—
As Children—swindled for the first
All Swindlers—be—infer—

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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