For Fasting Days by Muriel Stuart

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Are you my songs, importunate of praise?
Be still, remember for your comforting
That sweeter birds have had less leave to sing
Before men piped them from their lonely ways.

Greener leaves than yours are lost in every spring
Rubies far redder thrust your eager rays
Into the blindfold dark for many days
Before men chose them for a finger-ring.

Sing as you dare, not as men choose, receive not
The passing fashion’s prize, for dole or due-
Men’s summer-sweet unrecognition-grieve not:
Oh, stoop not to them! Better far that you
Should go unsung than sing as you believe not,
Should go uncrowned than to yourselves untrue.

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