James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

To My Good Master

In fancy, always, at thy desk, thrown wide,
Thy most betreasured books ranged neighborly--
The rarest rhymes of every land and sea
And curious tongue--thine old face glorified,--
Thou haltest thy glib quill, and, laughing-eyed,
Givest hale welcome even unto me,
Profaning thus thine attic's sanctity,
To briefly visit, yet to still abide
Enthralled there of thy sorcery of wit,
And thy songs' most exceeding dear conceits.
O lips, cleft to the ripe core of all sweets,
With poems, like nectar, issuing therefrom,
Thy gentle utterances do overcome
My listening heart and all the love of it!
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