A Century of Roundels/A Singing Lesson

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A Century of Roundels by Algernon Charles Swinburne
A Singing Lesson

A SINGING LESSON.


Far-fetched and dear-bought, as the proverb rehearses,
Is good, or was held so, for ladies: but nought
In a song can be good if the turn of the verse is
 Far-fetched and dear-bought.


As the turn of a wave should it sound, and the thought
Ring smooth, and as light as the spray that disperses
Be the gleam of the words for the garb thereof wrought.


Let the soul in it shine through the sound as it pierces
Men's hearts with possession of music unsought;
For the bounties of song are no jealous god's mercies,
 Far-fetched and dear-bought.