Emily Dickinson

10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886 / Amherst / Massachusetts

Had I Not This, Or This, I Said

904

Had I not This, or This, I said,
Appealing to Myself,
In moment of prosperity—
Inadequate—were Life—

"Thou hast not Me, nor Me"—it said,
In Moment of Reverse—
"And yet Thou art industrious—
No need—hadst Thou—of us"?

My need—was all I had—I said—
The need did not reduce—
Because the food—exterminate—
The hunger—does not cease—

But diligence—is sharper—
Proportioned to the Chance—
To feed upon the Retrograde—
Enfeebles—the Advance—
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