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I ply with all the cunning of my art this little thing, and with consummate care I fashion it-so that when I depart, Those who come after me shall find it fair And beautiful.
It must be free of flaws-Pointing no laborings of weary hands; And there must be no flouting of the laws Of beauty-as the artist understands.
Through passion, yearnings infinite-yet dumb-I lift you from the debts of my own mind and glide you with my souls white heat to plumb The souls of future men.
I leave behind This thing that in return this solace gives:
He who creates true beauty ever lives.
The cotton blouse you wear, your mother said,
After a day of toil, “I guess I’ll buy it”;
For ribbons on your head and blouse she paid
Two-bits a yard-as if you would deny it!
And nights, after a day of kitchen toil,
She stitched your re-made skirt of serge-once blue-
Weary of eye, beneath a lamp of oil:
McDonogh would be proud of her and you.
Next, came white “creepers” and white stockings, too-
They almost asked her blood when they were sold;
Like some dark princess, to the school go you,
With blue larkspur and yellow marigold;
But few would know-or even guess this fact: