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Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869–1935). Collected Poems. 1921.

II. The Children of the Night

14. Dear Friends

DEAR friends, reproach me not for what I do,

Nor counsel me, nor pity me; nor say

That I am wearing half my life away

For bubble-work that only fools pursue.

And if my bubbles be too small for you,

Blow bigger then your own: the games we play

To fill the frittered minutes of a day,

Good glasses are to read the spirit through.

And whose reads may get him some shrewd skill;

And some unprofitable scorn resign,

To praise the very thing that he deplores;

So, friends (dear friends), remember, if you will,

The shame I win for singing is all mine,

The gold I miss for dreaming is all yours.