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A Pinch of Salt

 When a dream is born in you
With a sudden clamorous pain,
When you know the dream is true
And lovely, with no flaw nor stain,
O then, be careful, or with sudden clutch
You'll hurt the delicate thing you prize so much.
Dreams are like a bird that mocks, Flirting the feathers of his tail.
When you seize at the salt-box, Over the hedge you'll see him sail.
Old birds are neither caught with salt nor chaff: They watch you from the apple bough and laugh.
Poet, never chase the dream.
Laugh yourself, and turn away.
Mask your hunger; let it seem Small matter if he come or stay; But when he nestles in your hand at last, Close up your fingers tight and hold him fast.

by Robert Graves
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