to a poet

Write, Beneditino, far from
the sterile bustle of the street! In the intimacy
of the cloister, with patience and calm,
work and persist and polish and suffer and sweat!

But let the effort employed be disguised in the form;
and the living device contrived
in such a way that the image appear bare,
rich but sober, like a Greek temple.

Let the construction not reveal the anguish of the master.
And, being natural, let the effect be pleasing,
without recalling the framework of the building:

For Beauty, twin’ of Truth,
pure Art, the enemy of artifice,
is strength and grace in simplicity.

Olavo Bilac

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