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 1 They bade me cast the thing away, 
2 They pointed to my hands all bleeding,
3 They 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; 8 The thorny husks I stripped and scattered; 9 If 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, 14 I had not found what most I cherish, 15 A 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!

by Helen Hunt Jackson
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