THE OLD CLAY PIPE.
There's a lot of solid comfort
In an old clay pipe, I find,
If you're kind of out of humor
Or in trouble in your mind.
When you're feeling awful lonesome
And don't know just what to do,
There's a heap of satisfaction
If you smoke a pipe or two.
The ten thousand pleasant memories
That are buried in your soul
Are playing hide and seek with you
Around that smoking bowl.
These are mighty restful moments:
You're at peace with all the world,
And the panorama changes
As the thin blue smoke is curled.
Now you cross the bridge of sorrows,
Now you enter pleasant lands,
And before an open doorway,
You will linger to shake hands
With a lithe and girlish figure
That is coming through the door;
Ah! you recognize the features:
You have seen that face before.
You are at the dear old homestead
Where you spent those happy years;
You are romping with the children;
You are smiling through your tears;
You have fought and whipped the bully
You are eight and he is ten.
Oh! how rapidly we travel,--
You are now a boy again.
You approach the open doorway,
And before the old armchair
You will stop and kiss the grandma,
You will smooth the thin white hair;
You will read the open Bible,
For the lamp is lit, you see.
It is now your hour for bed-time
And you kneel at mother's knee.
Still you linger at the hearthstone;
You are loath to leave the place.
When an apple cut's in progress:
You must wait and dance with Grace.
What's the matter with the music?
Only this: The pipe is broke,
And a thousand pleasant fancies
Vanish promptly with the smoke.
A.B. VAN FLEET.
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