Toru Dutt

(4 March 1856 - 30 August 1877 / Calcutta / British India)

My Vocation - Poem by Toru Dutt

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A waif on this earth,
Sick, ugly and small,
Contemned from my birth
And rejected by all,
From my lips broke
Where - oh where shall I fly?
Who comfort will bring?
Sing, - said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


Life struck me with fright -
Full of chances and pain,
So I hugged with delight
The drudge's hard chain;
One must eat, - yet I die,
Like a bird with clipped wing,
Sing - said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


Love cheered for a while
My morn with his ray,
But like a ripple or smile
My youth passed away.
Now near Beauty I sigh,
But fled is the spring!
Sing - said God in reply,
Chant poor little thing.


All men have a task,
And to sing is my lot -
No meed from men I ask
But one kindly thought.
My vocation is high -
'Mid the glasses that ring,
Still - still comes that reply,
Chant poor little thing.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, September 2, 2010



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