‘My Vocation’ by Toru Dutt

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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