Emily Dickinson

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

I play at Riches—to appease


801

I play at Riches—to appease
The Clamoring for Gold—
It kept me from a Thief, I think,
For often, overbold

With Want, and Opportunity—
I could have done a Sin
And been Myself that easy Thing
An independent Man—

But often as my lot displays
Too hungry to be borne
I deem Myself what I would be—
And novel Comforting

My Poverty and I derive—
We question if the Man—
Who own—Esteem the Opulence—
As We—Who never Can—

Should ever these exploring Hands
Chance Sovereign on a Mine—
Or in the long—uneven term
To win, become their turn—

How fitter they will be—for Want—
Enlightening so well—
I know not which, Desire, or Grant—
Be wholly beautiful—

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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