Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)
1 They bade me cast the thing away,
2They pointed to my hands all bleeding,
3They listened not to all my pleading;
4 The thing I meant I could not say;
5 I knew that I should rue the day
6 If once I cast that thing away.
7 I grasped it firm, and bore the pain;
8The thorny husks I stripped and scattered;
9If I could reach its heart, what mattered
10 If other men saw not my gain,
11 Or even if I should be slain?
12 I knew the risks; I chose the pain.
13 O, had I cast that thing away,
14I had not found what most I cherish,
15A faith without which I should perish,--
16 The faith which, like a kernel, lay
17 Hid in the husks which on that day
18 My instinct would not throw away!
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Helen Jackson, Poems (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1892), p. 141. PS 2107 P6 1892 ROBA
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/8
Rhyme: abbaaa cddccc aeeaaa
Other poems by Helen Hunt Jackson