Ivor Gurney

(1890-1937 / England)

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Apprentices

We who praise poets with our labouring pen
And justify ourselves with laud of men
Have not the right to call our own our own,
Being but the ground-sprouts from those great trees grown.
The crafted art, the smooth curve, and surety
Come not of nature till the apprentice free
Of trouble with his tools, and cobwebbed cuts,
Spies out a path his own and casts his plots.
Then looking back on four-square edifices

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