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As a bad orator, badly o'er-book-skilled,

As a bad orator, badly o'er-book-skilled,

Doth overflow his purpose with made heat,

And, like a clock, winds with withoutness willed

What should have been an inner instinct's feat;

Or as a prose-wit, harshly poet turned,

Lacking the subtler music in his measure,

With useless care labours but to be spurned,

Courting in alien speech the Muse's pleasure;

I study how to love or how to hate,

Estranged by consciousness from sentiment,

With a thought feeling forced to be sedate

Even when the feeling's nature is violent;

As who would learn to swim without the river,

When nearest to the trick, as far as ever.

Poem by Fernando Pessoa
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