Sonnet VI.

A poem by Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa

As a bad orator, badly o'er-book-skilled,
Doth overflow his purpose with made heat,
And, like a clock, winds with withoutness willed
What should have been an inner instinct's feat;
Or as a prose-wit, harshly poet turned,
Lacking the subtler music in his measure,
With useless care labours but to be spurned,
Courting in alien speech the Muse's pleasure;
I study how to love or how to hate,
Estranged by consciousness from sentiment,
With a thought feeling forced to be sedate
Even when the feeling's nature is violent;
As who would learn to swim without the river,
When nearest to the trick, as far as ever.

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