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To a Photographer

From The Birmingham Age Herald, January 5, 1915. By Berton Braley.

I have known joy and woe and toil and fight;
    I have lived largely, I have dreamed and planned,
    And Time, the Sculptor, with a master hand
Upon my face has wrought for all men’s sight
The lines and seams of Life, of growth and blight,
    Of struggle and of service and command;
    And now you show me This—this waxen, bland
And placid—unlined, untroubled, white!
This is not I—this fatuous face you show
    Retouched and prettified and smoothed to please.
Put back the wrinkles and the lines I know,
    I have spent blood and brain achieving these;
Out of the pain, the sorrow and the wrack,
They are my scars of battle—Put Them Back!

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