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A line-o'-verse or two by Bert Leston Taylor

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A Line-o'-Verse or Two

By Bert Leston Taylor

The Reilly & Britton Co. Chicago

Copyright, 1911 by The Reilly & Britton Co.

NOTE

For the privilege of reprinting the rimes gathered here I am indebted to the courtesy of the _Chicago Tribune_ and _Puck_, in whose pages most of them first appeared. "The Lay of St. Ambrose" is new.

One reason for rounding up this fugitive verse and prisoning it between covers was this: Frequently--more or less--I receive a request for a copy of this jingle or that, and it is easier to mention a publishing house than to search through ancient and dusty files.

The other reason was that I wanted to.

B. L. T.

_TO MY READERS_

_Not merely of this book,--but a larger company, with whom, through the medium of the_ Chicago Tribune, _I have been on very pleasant terms for several years,--this handful of rime is joyously dedicated._

THE LAY OF ST. AMBROSE

"_And hard by doth dwell, in St. Catherine's cell,_ _Ambrose, the anchorite old and grey._" --THE LAY OF ST. NICHOLAS.

Ambrose the anchorite old and grey Larruped himself in his lonely cell, And many a welt on his pious pelt The scourge evoked as it rose and fell.

For hours together the flagellant leather Went whacketty-whack with his groans of pain; And the lay-brothers said, with a wag of the head, "Ambrose has been at the bottle again."

And such, in sooth, was the sober truth; For the single fault of this saintly soul Was a desert thirst for the cup accurst,-- A quenchless love for the Flowing Bowl.

When he woke at morn with a head forlorn And a taste like a last-year swallow's nest, He would kneel and pray, then rise and flay His sinful body like all possessed.

Frequently tempted, he fell from grace, And as often he found the devil to pay; But by diligent scourging and diligent purging He managed to keep Old Nick at bay.

This was the plight of our anchorite,-- An endless penance condemned to dree,-- When it chanced one day there came his way A Mystical Book with a golden Key.

This Mystical Book was a guide to health, That none might follow and go astray; While a turn of the Key unlocked the wealth That all unknown in the Scriptures lay.

Disease is sin, the Book defined; Sickness is error to which men cling; Pain is merely a state of mind, And matter a non-existent thing.


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