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To James Whitcomb Riley
by [?]


ON HIS “BOOK OF JOYOUS CHILDREN”

Yours is a garden of old-fashioned flowers;
Joyous children delight to play there;
Weary men find rest in its bowers,
Watching the lingering light of day there.

Old-time tunes and young love-laughter
Ripple and run among the roses;
Memory’s echoes, murmuring after,
Fill the dusk when the long day closes.

Simple songs with a cadence olden–
These you learned in the Forest of Arden:
Friendly flowers with hearts all golden–
These you borrowed from Eden’s garden.

This is the reason why all men love you;
Truth to life is the finest art:
Other poets may soar above you–
You keep close to the human heart.

December, 1903.