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PRECIOUS STONES; AN INCIDENT IN MODERN HISTORY, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: My cherrystones! I prize them
Last Line: E'en greater geese than thou.
Subject(s): Clams; Food & Eating

MY Cherrystones! I prize them,
No tongue can tell how much!
Each lady caller eyes them,
And madly longs to touch!
At eve I lift them down, I look
Upon them, and I cry;
Recalling how my Prince "partook"
(Sweet word!) of cherry-pie!

To me it was an Era
In life, that Dejeuner!
They ate, they sipp'd Madeira
Much in the usual way.
Many a soft item there would be,
No doubt, upon the carte:
But one made life a heaven to me:
It was the cherry-tart.

Lightly the spoonfuls enter'd
That mouth on which the gaze
Of ten fair girls was centred
In rapturous amaze.
Soon that august assemblage clear'd
The dish; and -- as they ate --
The stones, all coyly, re-appear'd
On each illustrious plate.

And when His Royal Highness
Withdrew to take the air,
Waiving our natural shyness,
We swoop'd upon his chair.
Policemen at our garments clutch'd:
We mock'd those feeble powers;
And soon the treasures that had touch'd
Exalted lips were ours!

One large one -- at the moment
It seem'd almost divine --
Was got by that Miss Beaumont:
And three, O three, are mine!
Yes! the three stones that rest beneath
Glass, on that plain deal shelf,
Stranger, once dallied with the teeth
Of Royalty itself.

Let Parliament abolish
Churches and States and Thrones:
With reverent hand I'll polish
Still, still my Cherrystones!
A clod -- a piece of orange-peel --
An end of a cigar --
Once trod on by a Princely heel,
How beautiful they are!

Years since, I climb'd Saint Michael
His Mount: -- you'll all go there
Of course, and those who like'll
Sit in Saint Michael's Chair:
For there I saw, within a frame,
The pen -- O heavens! the pen --
With which a Duke had signed his name,
And other gentlemen.

"Great among geese," I faltered,
"Is she who grew that quill!"
And, Deathless Bird, unalter'd
Is mine opinion still.
Yet sometimes, as I view my three
Stones with a thoughtful brow,
I think there possibly might be
E'en greater geese than thou.

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