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His Pipe

From The Birmingham Age Herald, May 16, 1914. By Minna Irving.

Though grandpa left us long ago, with years and labors ripe,
Yet still upon the shelf we keep his old black briar pipe.
And when we take it down we seem to see above the bowl
The keen blue eyes that mirrored forth his wise and kindly soul.
We took our sorrows to his knee, he listened to them all,
From sister Letty’s love affairs, to Benny’s “losted” ball,
And when he filled and lit his pipe, we knew that he had found
The end of all the trouble-skeins our careless hands unwound.

So when my grown-up heart is sad with life’s eternal pain,
With reverential touch I take the old black pipe again.
About it hangs the aroma of good tobacco still,
And calls his sturdy spirit back to brace my weakened will.
Through that old pipe he speaks to me, just as he used to do,
And bids me face the world again with strength and courage new,
And Hope around me folds once more her rainbow-colored cloak,
And all my little troubles fade as once they did—in smoke.

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