That which we had we still possess,
Though leaves may drop and stars may fall;
No circumstance can make it less
Or take it from us, all in all.

That which is lost we did not own;
We only held it for a day–
A leaf by careless breezes blown:
No fate could take our own away.

I hold it as a changeless law
From which no soul can ever sway or swerve,
We have that in us which will draw
Whate’er we need or most deserve.

Even as the magnet to the steel
Our souls are to the best desires;
The Fates have hearts and they can feel–
They know what each true heart requires.

We think we lose when most we gain;
We call joys ended ere begun;
When stars fade out do skies complain,
Or glory in the rising sun?

No fate could rob us of our own–
No circumstance can make it less;
What time removes was but a loan,
For what was ours we still possess.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Possession

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