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Paul Laurence Dunbar

My Corn-Cob Pipe

Men may sing of their Havanas, elevating to the stars

The real or fancied virtues of their foreign-made cigars;

But I worship Nicotina at a different sort of shrine,

And she sits enthroned in glory in this corn-cob pipe of mine.

It's as fragrant as the meadows when the clover is in bloom;

It's as dainty as the essence of the daintiest perfume;

It's as sweet as are the orchards when the fruit is hanging ripe,

With the sun's warm kiss upon them—is this corn-cob pipe.

Thro' the smoke about it clinging, I delight its form to trace,

Like an oriental beauty with a veil upon her face;

And my room is dim with vapour as a church when censers sway,

As I clasp it to my bosom—in a figurative way.

It consoles me in misfortune and it cheers me in distress,

And it proves a warm partaker of my pleasures in success;

So I hail it as a symbol, friendship's true and worthy type,

And I press my lips devoutly to my corn-cob pipe.