An Apology For Not Showing Her What I Had Wrote

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Did not my muse (what can she less?)
Perceive her own unworthiness,
Could she by some well chosen theme,
But hope to merit your esteem,
She would not thus conceal her lays,
Ambitious to deserve your praise.
But should my Delia take offence,
And frown on her impertinence,
In silence, sorrowing and forlorn,
Would the despairing trifler mourn,
Curse her ill-tun'd, unpleasing lute,
Then sigh and sit for ever mute.
In secret, therefore, let her play,
Squand'ring her idle notes away;
In secret as she chants along,
Cheerful and careless in her song;
Nor heed she whether harsh or clear,
Free from each terror, ev'ry fear,
From that, of all most dreaded, free,
The terror of offending Thee.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.