Poems of Cheer/Possession

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For works with similar titles, see Possession.

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 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 our best desires;
The Fates have hearts and they can feel -
   They know what each true life requires.

We think we lose when we most 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.


This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.