If ever I am rich enough to make
Generous gestures let me hide my hand.
Let me give freely lest my giving take
With it freedom, Not the frailest strand
Of obligation must go with my gift,
Nor must the comfort glow of being kind
Be used to lend a foolish head a lift.
Grant I may bring a clear and seeing mind
To work in wisdom, giving with a touch
So light that never breath of power blow
Across the crystal of my sharing much
That is lovely. Pray I may mark and know:
Beauty dies like linnet in a cage,
Beneath the bruising hand of patronage.


Joyce Grenfell

Joyce was a dear friend to Mum, and I have reproduced this as it was in Mum’s collection with her own poems, so she clearly treasured it.

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