He was a poet—

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but one of the few without any weak longing after listening ears. The poet whose poetry needs an audience, can be but little of a poet; neither can the poetry that is of no good to the man himself, be of much good to anybody else. There are the song-poets and the life-poets, or rather the God-poems. Sympathy is lovely and dear—chiefly when it comes unsought; but the fame after which so many would-be, yea, so many real poets sigh, is poorest froth. Donal could sing his songs like the birds, content with the blue heaven or the sheep for an audience—or any passing angel that cared to listen. On the hill-sides he would sing them aloud, but it was of the merest natural necessity. A look of estrangement on the face of a friend, a look of suffering on that of any animal, would at once and sorely affect him, but not a disparaging expression on the face of a comparative stranger, were she the loveliest woman he had ever seen. He was little troubled about the world, because little troubled about himself.

Sir Gibbie

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