I'd rather have my verses win
A place in common people's hearts,
Who, toiling through the strife and din
Of life's great thoroughfares, and marts,
May read some line my hand has penned;
Some simple verse, not fine, or grand,
But what their hearts can understand
And hold me henceforth as a friend,--
I'd rather win such quiet fame
Than by some fine thought, bolished so
But those of learned minds would know,
Just what the meaning of my song,--
To have the critics sound my name
In high-flown praises, loud and long.
I sing not for the critic's ear,
But for the masses. If they hear
Despite the turmoil, noise, and strife
Some least low note that gladdens life,
I shall be wholly satisfied,
Though critics to the end deride.
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