XXI. Your Riches Taught Me Poverty


Your riches taught me poverty.
Though myself a millionaire,
I had not so many grandfather clocks
As all of Buenos Ayre,

Nor so many harpsichords
As all were in Peru;
Or so you said, and I believed
I’d have in life with you.

I owned few little mines
That coughed up pretty gems,—
The colors the commonest,
Scare enough for diadems.

But you held Dutch Zaire:
Her glory I should know
If my wealth married yours,
Or so you told me so.

I’m sure ’t is India all day
For those related to you;
Stacks of gold and silver
From all those you had screwed!

I’m sure it’s okay
For me to say that there.
If only I had eight-carat gems,
I could say such anywhere!

At least, it solaces to know
That there exists your gold,
And alchemies in secret
You’ve told me that you hold.

It’s far, far treasure to surmise—
Pearls the size of sunflow’r heads
And draped elephants galore—
Therefore we should wed!


Her more modest version.

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