My stuff is so vile, I am less than dust
while your gleam rends the mirror’s heart.
My darkness lights the chafing-dish
before I am incinerated. A miner’s boot
tramples my head, covering me with ashes.
Do you know my life’s gist?
A condensed sliver of smoke, transformed
into a single spark, in feature and nature
starlike, your every facet a splendor,
light of the king’s eye, the dagger’s jewel.
Friend, be wise, the diamond replied, assume
a bezel’s dignity! Loam strives to harden
to fill my bosom with radiance. Burn
because you are soft. Banish fear and grief.
Be hard as stone, be a diamond.