Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THEY SAY, by WALT MASON

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THEY SAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: They say that smithman spends his life in
Last Line: "way; but he plays second violin, I often think, beside ""they say."
Subject(s): Gossip; Rumors; Towns

THEY say that Smithman spends his life in dodging bills he ought to pay. They
say that Biffkin beats his wife, and feeds his children bran and hay. They say
that Jinx, the dry goods prince, burned down his store, with fell intent. They
say that Jasper Julius Quince held up an orphan for a cent. Thus Rumor, with its

evil tongue, goes drifting through the busy mart, and baseless, vicious tales
are sprung, which wreck your fame and break your heart. The busy scandal-monger

cries, "Of course the yarn may not be true, but still they say that Reuben Wise

steals chickens every night or two." Then Reuben, in his native town, becomes a

shunned and lonely man; "They Say" has ruined his renown, and made him outcast
from his clan. The scandalmonger drifts along, and makes his old accustomed
noise: "They say Jane Juice is going wrong—she's much too friendly with the

boys." Then Jane from social scenes is missed, in every glance she finds a
freeze; "They Say" has barred her from bridge whist, and banned her from the
Purple Teas. Old Booze has scattered woe and sin, and broken hearts, along his
way; but he plays second violin, I often think, beside "They Say."

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