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The Dilettante

From The Tacoma Times, December 27, 1913. By Berton Braley.

“Alas,” the struggling painter cried,
“My artist soul is sorely tried,
The crass commercial side of life,
The constant toil, the constant strife,
Give me no chance to do my best,
But keep me working without rest
At making pictures which will sell,
A thing at which I would rebel
If I had money so I could.”

Fortune to that young man was god,
An uncle died and left his roll
To him who had the “artist soul.”
No longer was there need to do
The pictures he’d objected to,
And “Art for Art’s sake” he was free
To follow long and faithfully.

But when his money came to him
Somehow ambition lost its vim;
Without the struggle and the fight,
The game had lost its old delight;
At first the work he did was small;
At last he didn’t paint at all!

The moral is that too much pelf—
Oh, make the moral for yourself!

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