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Blue Girls

 Twirling your blue skirts, travelling the sward 
Under the towers of your seminary, 
Go listen to your teachers old and contrary 
Without believing a word.
Tie the white fillets then about your hair And think no more of what will come to pass Than bluebirds that go walking on the grass And chattering on the air.
Practice your beauty, blue girls, before it fail; And I will cry with my loud lips and publish Beauty which all our power shall never establish, It is so frail.
For I could tell you a story which is true; I know a woman with a terrible tongue, Blear eyes fallen from blue, All her perfections tarnished -- yet it is not long Since she was lovelier than any of you.

by John Crowe Ransom
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