Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MY FAMILIAR, by JOHN GODFREY SAXE



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MY FAMILIAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Again I hear that creaking step
Last Line: Who never, never goes!
Variant Title(s): The Bore
Subject(s): Bores


I.

AGAIN I hear that creaking step! --
He's rapping at the door! --
Too well I know the boding sound
That ushers in a bore.
I do not tremble when I meet
The stoutest of my foes,
But Heaven defend me from the friend
Who comes -- but never goes!

II.

He drops into my easy-chair,
And asks about the news;
He peers into my manuscript,
And gives his candid views;
He tells me where he likes the line,
And where he's forced to grieve;
He takes the strangest liberties, --
But never takes his leave!

III.

He reads my daily paper through
Before I've seen a word;
He scans the lyric (that I wrote)
And thinks it quite absurd;
He calmly smokes my last cigar,
And coolly asks for more;
He opens everything he sees --
Except the entry door!

IV.

He talks about his fragile health,
And tells me of the pains
He suffers from a score of ills
Of which he ne'er complains;
And how he struggled once with death
To keep the fiend at bay;
On themes like those away he goes, --
But never goes away!

V.

He tells me of the carping words
Some shallow critic wrote;
And every precious paragraph
Familiarly can quote;
He thinks the writer did me wrong;
He'd like to run him through!
He says a thousand pleasant things, --
But never says, "Adieu!"

VI.

Whene'er he comes, -- that dreadful man, --
Disguise it as I may,
I know that, like an Autumn rain,
He'll last throughout the day.
In vain I speak of urgent tasks;
In vain I scowl and pout;
A frown is no extinguisher, --
It does not put him out!

VII.

I mean to take the knocker off,
Put crape upon the door,
Or hint to John that I am gone
To stay a month or more.
I do not remble when I meet
The stoutest of my foes,
But Heaven defend me from the friend
Who never, never goes!





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