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Smoking Poems

My Cigarette.
Ma pauvre petite, My little sweet, Why do you cry...

With Pipe And Book.
With Pipe and Book at close of day, Oh, what is sweete...

Maecenas Bids His Friend To Dine.
I beg you come to-night and dine. A welcome waits you, a...

The Dreamer's Pipe.
Meerschaum, thing with amber tip, Clutched between the...

The Smoker's Reverie.
(_OCTOBER._) I'm sitting at dusk 'neath the old beeche...

To See Her Pipe Awry.
Betty bouncer kept a stall At the corner of a street...

'twas Off The Blue Canaries.
'Twas off the blue Canary isles, A glorious summer d...

A Symphony In Smoke.
A pretty, piquant, pouting pet, Who likes to muse and ...

Envoi.
Smokers, who doubt or con or pro, And ye who dare to...

The Duet.
I was smoking a cigarette; Maud, my wife, and the te...

To The Tobacco Pipe.
Dear piece of fascinating clay! 'Tis thine to smooth l...

Another Match.
_AFTER A.C. SWINBURNE._ If love were dhudeen olden, ...

Virginia Tobacco.
Two maiden dames of sixty-two Together long had dwel...

Pipes And Beer.
Before I was famous I used to sit In a dull old unde...

The Betrothed.
"_YOU MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN ME AND YOUR CIGAR._" Open the ...

The Cigar.
Some sigh for this and that, My wishes don't go far;...

An Ode Of Thanks For Certain Cigars.
_TO CHARLES ELIOT NORTON._ Luck, my dear Norton, still...

Invocation To Tobacco.
Weed of the strange flower, weed of the earth, Killer ...

Motto For A Tobacco Jar.
Come! don't refuse sweet Nicotina's aid, But woo the...

Cannon Song.
And it has turned since you and I Set out to face th...



AN OLD SWEETHEART OF MINE.








As one who cons at evening o'er an album all alone,
And muses on the faces of the friends that he has known,
So I turn the leaves of Fancy, till in shadowy design
I find the smiling features of an old sweetheart of mine.

The lamplight seems to glimmer with a flicker of surprise,
As I turn it low, to rest me of the dazzle in my eyes,
And light my pipe in silence, save a sigh that seems to yoke
Its fate with my tobacco, and to vanish with the smoke.

'Tis a fragrant retrospection, for the loving thoughts that start
Into being are like perfumes from the blossom of the heart;
And to dream the old dreams over is a luxury divine--
When my truant fancies wander with that old sweetheart of mine.

Though I hear, beneath my study, like a fluttering of wings,
The voices of my children and the mother as she sings,
I feel no twinge of conscience to deny me any theme
When Care has cast her anchor in the harbor of a dream.

In fact, to speak in earnest, I believe it adds a charm
To spice the good a trifle with a little dust of harm;
For I find an extra flavor in Memory's mellow wine
That makes me drink the deeper to that old sweetheart of mine.

A face of lily-beauty, with a form of airy grace,
Floats out of my tobacco as the genii from the vase;
And I thrill beneath the glances of a pair of azure eyes,
As glowing as the summer and as tender as the skies.

I can see the pink sunbonnet and the little checkered dress
She wore when first I kissed her, and she answered the caress
With the written declaration that, "as surely as the vine
Grew round the stump," she loved me,--that old sweetheart of mine!

And again I feel the pressure of her slender little hand,
As we used to talk together of the future we had planned:
When I should be a poet, and with nothing else to do
But write the tender verses that she set the music to;

When we should live together in a cozy little cot,
Hid in a nest of roses, with a fairy garden-spot,
Where the vines were ever fruited, and the weather ever fine,
And the birds were ever singing for that old sweetheart of mine;

And I should be her lover forever and a day,
And she my faithful sweetheart till the golden hair was gray;
And we should be so happy that when either's lips were dumb
They would not smile in heaven till the other's kiss had come.

But ah! my dream is broken by a step upon the stair,
And the door is softly opened, and my wife is standing there!
Yet with eagerness and rapture all my visions I resign
To greet the living presence of that old sweetheart of mine.

JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY.





Next: A PIPE OF TOBACCO.

Previous: THE SMOKER'S CALENDAR.



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