[1801 – 1900]
I sang softly & forgot the horror.
I sang troubled & painted the flower
of melancholy. I sang of violence
& murder, frightened of fierce suspicion.
Ashamed, I sang of household profit. At
midnight I sang trembling with mystery.
With my finger down the throat of shining
fame, I wondered, setting down my gun, how
refuse, delay, & after pause, proceed?
How unfortunate regret, that her fatal
bosom should press mankind to waste
its estate on the reign of image & reputation.
Hence I sang, formerly & lately, not
with wit but with difficulties & thanks.