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Looking Wise

From the Evening Star, March 14, 1914. By Philander Johnson.

My Uncle Jim, he used to speak.
    His words would make the welkin ring.
But now his eloquence grows weak.
    He isn’t saying anything.
The popularity he’s found
    To all his friends is a surprise
Since he has just been sitting ‘round
    And doing nothing but look wise.

It’s great to have a silvery tongue
    And make men listen to your voice.
It’s great to lecture old and young
    And see them tremble or rejoice
According to the words you choose.
    But of them all the greatest prize
Is this strange gift that statesmen use;
    The simple art of looking wise.

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