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Poemsby Emily Dickinson

A Portrait
Saturday Afternoon

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.