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Temptation

From the Rock Island Argus, November 14, 1912.
By Duncan M. Smith.
 

 I always want to read a book
     When I have work on hand.
 A most alluring volume then
     Is lying on the stand.
 If I have nothing on my mind
     And work is rather slack
 The selfsame book a week can lie
     Unopened on the rack.
 
 How tempting when I ought to be
     So busy making hay
 Is any book that happens to
     By lying in my way!
 I want to cast my pen aside
     And take a furtive look
 For just about a half an hour
     In that alluring book.
 
 It doesn’t matter to me what
     The volume is about.
 It may be poetry or prose,
     A treatise on the gout,
 A little book on fancy work,
     On how to till the land,
 Just so it serves to turn me from
     The work I have in hand.
 
 But that is not the worst of it—
     Oh, no, that isn’t all!—
 For when temptation thus appears
     The truth is that I fall.
 Nor do I read for half an hour
     And then the covers bang—
 I keep it up for half a day
     And let the work go hang!

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