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For A Lady Who Must Write Verse

 Unto seventy years and seven,
Hide your double birthright well-
You, that are the brat of Heaven
And the pampered heir to Hell.
Let your rhymes be tinsel treasures, Strung and seen and thrown aside.
Drill your apt and docile measures Sternly as you drill your pride.
Show your quick, alarming skill in Tidy mockeries of art; Never, never dip your quill in Ink that rushes from your heart.
When your pain must come to paper, See it dust, before the day; Let your night-light curl and caper, Let it lick the words away.
Never print, poor child, a lay on Love and tears and anguishing, Lest a cooled, benignant Phaon Murmur, "Silly little thing!"

by Dorothy Parker
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