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My Namesake.

Addressed to Francis Greenleaf Allinson of Burlington, New Jersey.

You scarcely need my tardy thanks,
     Who, self-rewarded, nurse and tend–
A green leaf on your own Green Banks
     The memory of your friend.

For me, no wreath, bloom-woven, hides
     The sobered brow and lessening hair:
For aught I know, the myrtled sides
     Of Helicon are bare.

Their scallop-shells so many bring
     The fabled founts of song to try,
They've drained, for aught I know, the spring
     Of Aganippe dry.

Ah well!—The wreath the Muses braid
     Proves often Folly's cap and bell;
Methinks, my ample beaver's shade
     May serve my turn as well.

Let Love's and Friendship's tender debt
     Be paid by those I love in life.
Why should the unborn critic whet
     For me his scalping-knife?

Why should the stranger peer and pry
     One's vacant house of life about,

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Helicon (1)
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