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A Companion's Progress

My stock has gone down and my tailor has sent
To request that I settle my bill;
My landlady asks with a frown for her rent,
And there isn't a cent in the till.
The governor storms and my mother's in tears;
There's a coldness betwixt me and Nell,
But I'm utterly dead to regrets and to fears,
For my meerschaum is colouring well.
At first I had fears of what looked like a crack,
And my breath came in gasps of alarm,
But oh, how the joy of my heart flooded back
When I found that 'twas nothing to harm.
And so ever since I have nursed it with care,
With thrills that my heart cannot quell,


And I've bored all my friends to relate the affair
That my meerschaum is colouring well.

St. James Gazette, London, August 21, 1901. Clipping in Paul Laurence Dunbar Collection, MSS 659, series 1, box 1, OHS, from Henry Romeike clipping service, New York City. No page number given.