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Newspaper Poetry

A Simple Prescription

From the Rock Island Argus, March 5, 1913.
 By S. E. Kiser.
 

 The doctor gazed a while at me and gravely shook his head;
 “You must not work so hard,” said he, “eat only whole wheat bread;
 Avoid all starchy things and try to take your beefsteak rare;
 Avoid the deadly stuff they fry, keep in the open air,
 And cheer up. Clear your frowns away, put all your cares aside:
 Play golf or tennis every day, or get a horse to ride.
 
 “You might take three months off and go to Europe or Japan,
 Or take a trip to Mexico; you need a change, old man.
 You have a haggard, weary look, your system’s all run down;
 Go out and loll beside some brook a thousand miles from town.
 Take my advice and rest a while, become a man of ease.
 Quit working and learn how to smile. Three dollars, if you please.”
 
 He could not know how glad I was to get his dear advice,
 Nor that I could not go because I chanced to lack the price;
 He knew not that if for a space I traveled unconcerned
 They would inform me that my place was filled, when I returned.
 By toiling hard and steadily I clung to my position
 And kept those who were dear to me in fairly good condition.
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