The Collected Poems of Dora Sigerson Shorter/A Recompense

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A RECOMPENSE

I raised my hands against my fate,
I struck her frowning brows between;
“I will be good, I will be great,
No matter what has been.

“What care I if before my time
Dead men their passions left to me?
Can I not tune my life to rhyme
From discord played by thee?”

She struck my pencil from my grasp,
And here my first ambition ends.
How bitterly the loss unmans!
She had so many friends.

Love saw my battle and was glad;
For love's sweet sake I struggled on,
Till love grew tired loving, then
I cursed the sun that shone.

“I'll strive no more against my fate,”
I said, “I will give up, go down”—
But friendship caught my idle hands
And would not let me drown.

For friendship's sake I tried once more,
Till love stole friendship from my side;
I cursed the friend that gained the boon
That was to me denied.


The hound that followed at my heel
Looked up with eyes so full of love
I kissed the curly brows between
And blessed the God above.