I have a little comforter,

I carry in my pocket:

It is not any woman's face

Set in a golden locket;

It is not any kind of purse;

It is not book or letter,

But yet at times I really think

That it is something better.

Oh, my pipe, my little brown pipe!

How oft, at morning early,

When vexed with thoughts of coming toil,
r /> And just a little surly,

I sit with thee till things get clear,

And all my plans grow steady,

And I can face the strife of life

With all my senses steady.

No matter if my temper stands

At stormy, fair, or clearing,

My pipe has not for any mood

A word of angry sneering.

I always find it just the same,

In care, or joy, or sorrow,

And what it is to-day I know

It's sure to be to-morrow.

It helps me through the stress of life;

It balances my losses;

It adds a charm to all my joys,

And lightens all my crosses.

For through the wreathing, misty veil

Joy has a softer splendor,

And life grows sweetly possible,

And love more truly tender.

Oh, I have many richer joys!

I do not underrate them,

And every man knows what I mean,

I do not need to state them.

But this I say,--I'd rather miss

A deal of what's called pleasure,

Than lose my little comforter,

My little smoky treasure.


Forsaken of all comforts but these two,--

My fagot and my pipe--I sit to muse

On all my crosses, and almost excuse

The heavens for dealing with me as they do.

When Hope steps in, and, with a smiling brow,

Such cheerful expectations doth infuse

As makes me think ere long I cannot choose

But be some grandee, whatsoe'er I'm now.

But having spent my pipe, I then perceive

That hopes and dreams are cousins,--both deceive.

Then mark I this conclusion in my mind,

It's all one thing,--both tend into one scope,--

To live upon Tobacco and on Hope:

The one's but smoke, the other is but wind.