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Honest Liar

From the New York Tribune, April 12, 1914.

Here’s to the man who lies to us, who’s careless of the truth,
Who slaps us on the back and says, “Gee! How you hold your youth!”
Who shrinks not at the future when he has a lie to tell,
But when you’re sick and tired and blue, declares, “You’re looking well!”

Here’s to the man who tells us lies when solemn truth would hurt,
Who says, “I’ll back you through and through, if it should take my shirt,”
Who, when you’re “off” and cannot write just as you think you should,
Will tune you up for better things with, “That’s what I call good!”

Or when you paint a picture that is wrong in every part,
Will make you think the daub is great by saying, “Now, that’s art!”
He lies—but it’s in charity, if lying ever was,
So here’s his health, for though he lies, he’s honest when he does.

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