It was given to me by the Gods —
When I was a little Girl —
They given us Presents most — you know —
When we are new — and small.
I kept it in my Hand —
I never put it down —
I did not dare to eat — or sleep —
For fear it would be gone —
I heard such words as “Rich” —
When hurrying to school —
From lips at Corners of the Streets —
And wrestled with a smile.
Rich! ‘Twas Myself — was rich —
To take the name of Gold —
And Gold to own — in solid Bars —
The Difference — made me bold —
This poem could probably most easily be taken to mean Emily’s gift as a poet, that’s what she’s talking about–her gold and riches are her inborn artistry. Or…can it be more? Emily’s family was among the wealthiest and most prominent in Amherst and she possibly did get murmured about by her classmates as being “the rich girl.” Perhaps she feels guilty or uneasy or angry about that?