Verse > Emily Dickinson > Complete Poems > I. Life > 53. “God gave a loaf to every bird”

Emily Dickinson (1830–86).  Complete Poems.  1924.

Part One: Life


GOD gave a loaf to every bird,
But just a crumb to me;
I dare not eat it, though I starve,—
My poignant luxury
To own it, touch it, prove the feat        5
That made the pellet mine,—
Too happy in my sparrow chance
For ampler coveting.
It might be famine all around,
I could not miss an ear,        10
Such plenty smiles upon my board,
My garner shows so fair.
I wonder how the rich may feel,—
An Indiaman—an Earl?
I deem that I with but a crumb        15
Am sovereign of them all.


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