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A Retrogression

From the Evening Star, July 22, 1915. By Philander Johnson.

One time we had an uplift down to Pohick on the Crick.
The talk of art an’ culture came a-flyin’ very thick.
We bought a lot of handsome books whose covers plainly showed
That when their authors talked of art, they talked of what they knowed.
We felt that we had found the way unto a life refined,
Whose object would be beauty an’ a disposition kind.
We were strong for classic painting an’ for sculpture so sublime,
An’ architecture that defied the ravages of time.

Then from a mighty shock the world stood trembling and afraid.
It came from the headquarters where the classic art was made.
The painter dropped his brushes and the sculptor left his clay
An’ the singers marched in silence to the fierce, incessant fray.
We learned how works of beauty that were built through patient years
Were swept into destruction in a storm of rage and tears—
So maybe it’s the old-time way to which we’d better stick
An’ jes’ live plain an’ humble down to Pohick on the Crick.

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