By compulsion

Karin Boye

From the poetry collection "Härdarna" (1927)

I am a priest of poverty
and shall remain so.
He who has nothing can dare the most,
to action and thought free.

I hear the mockery of the evil voice:
"You make virtue out of necessity.
What do you have to give up?
But if you had bread?"

Yes, it is true, that I have stood
and begged at the door of happiness
and cried when I got nothing
and everything was empty as before.

Yes, it is true that everything is compulsion.
But is it worth less?
There is a meaning in all our singing:
to make fate dear.

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