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The Beauty and the Book

From the Rock Island Argus, January 16, 1914. By Henry Howland.

She was so gentle and so fair
    That just to see her made me glad;
She spoke in accents sweet and rare,
    And praised the talent that I had;
The admiration in her look
    Awoke my pride and made me strut;
I gave to her my latest book,
    Its precious pages still uncut.

She took it with such pure delight
    That pleasure lingered in my breast;
I thanked the gods that I could write
    And that the book contained my best;
She held it as a precious thing—
    Indeed, she pressed it to her heart,
And set my own heart fluttering
    By sweetly dwelling on my art.

She was so graceful, so sublime
    That I was filled with sudden joy;
My cares took flight and for a time
    I was again a blushing boy;
She sweetly spoke about the glee
    That presently should be her own
In conning my brave lines when she
    Could be unhindered and alone.

Ah! That was three long years ago!
    I called upon her yesterday;
My book was on the stand, and so
    I picked it up from where it lay;
I felt the old joy in my heart,
    The sweet old thrill of boyhood—but
’Twas doomed to suddenly depart;
    The pages all remained uncut.

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