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From The Wit and Humor of America, edited by Marshall P. Wilder, Volume III, New York and London: Funk and Wagnalls and Company, 1911; pp. 416-417.




That time when Learning’s path was steep,

And rocks and fissures marred the way,

The few who dared were forced to creep,

Their souls oft quaking with dismay;

The goal achieved, their hairs were gray,

Their bodies bent like shepherds’ crooks;

How blest are we who run to-day

The easy road of “How To” books!

The presses groan, and volumes leap,

Our dullness we no more betray;

To know the stars, or shear a sheep — 

To live on air, or polo play;

The trick is ours, or we may stray

Beneath the seas, with science cooks,

And sprint by some reflected ray

The easy road of “How To” Books!

Who craves the boon of dreamless sleep?

Who bricks would make, sans straw or clay?

“Call spirits from the vasty deep,”

Or weave a lofty, living lay?

Let him be heartened, jocund, gay,

Nor hopeless writhe on tenter-hooks, —

They meet no barriers who essay

The easy road of “How To” Books!



The critics still will slash and slay

Poor hapless scribes, in sanctum nooks;

Lo! here’s a refuge for their prey — 

The easy road of “How To” Books!

 1  This poem is one of only two by this author that can be found on the internet in October, 2013. There is no more to found about him, or by him, at this point. The other poem he wrote, which is also on this site, appeared in Munsey’s Magazine, Volume XXX, in 1904. See “Hearts on ’Change.” — Elf.Ed.

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