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The Venal Muse

by
 O muse of my heart, lover of palaces, 
Will you bring, when January lets loose its sleet 
And its black evenings without solace, 
An ember to warm my violet feet? 
What will revive your bruised shoulders, 
The nocturnal rays that pierce the shutters? 
When you cannot feel your palace, just your empty billfold, 
How will you harvest the gold of azure vaults and gutters? 

You should, to earn your bread today 
Like a choir boy with a censer to wave, 
Sings hymns with feeling but without belief.
Or, a starving rip-off artist, selling your charm And your laughter shades the tears so no one sees the harm In bringing to bloom an ordinary rat, a vulgar thief.

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