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Prominence

From the Rock Island Argus, March 1, 1913.
 By S. E. Kiser.
 

 I have a cousin twice removed who lacks a jaunty air;
 He lives in Turnipopolis and is a leader there;
 Here in the city he would stand back in some safe retreat
 And look with bulging eyes and be afraid to cross the street.
 He moves with very little grace, his clothes are cheaply made,
 But he has money in the bank and all his debts are paid.
 
 He lives at Turnipopolis, where daily, wet or dry,
 The people of the town turn out to watch the train go by;
 And there at times when flags are raised and thrilling songs are sung,
 ’Tis he that makes the speeches to the old and to the young;
 He is the leading citizen, he strokes the children’s curls
 And proudly claims a leader’s right to kiss the pretty girls.
 
 I sometimes wonder if it pays to toil and moil and fret
 Where virtue is so very cheap and life is cheaper yet;
 Where thousands come and thousands go, unnoticed and unknown,
 Where, lacking room a man may still be friendless and alone—
 I sometimes wonder if it pays to merely live for this
 When each might be a leader in some Turnipopolis.
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