Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, I SMOKE MY PIPE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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I SMOKE MY PIPE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I can't extend to every friend
Last Line: And so I smoke my pipe.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Fortune; Heaven; Leisure; Smoking; Paradise; Tobacco; Pipes; Cigars; Cigarettes


I can't extend to every friend
In need a helping hand --
No matter though I wish it so,
'Tis not as Fortune planned;
But haply may I fancy they
Are men of different stripe
Than others think who hint and wink, --
And so -- I smoke my pipe!

A golden coal to crown the bowl --
My pipe and I alone, --
I sit and muse with idler views
Perchance than I should own: --
It might be worse to own the purse
Whose glutted bowels gripe
In little qualms of stinted alms;
And so I smoke my pipe.

And if inclined to moor my mind
And cast the anchor Hope,
A puff of breath will put to death
The morbid misanthrope
That lurks inside -- as errors hide
In standing forms of type
To mar at birth some line of worth;
And so I smoke my pipe.

The subtle stings misfortune flings
Can give me little pain
When my narcotic spell has wrought
This quiet in my brain:
When I can waste the past in taste
So luscious and so ripe
That like an elf I hug myself;
And so I smoke my pipe.

And wrapped in shrouds of drifting clouds,
I watch the phantom's flight,
Till alien eyes from Paradise
Smile on me as I write:
And I forgive the wrongs that live,
As lightly as I wipe
Away the tear that rises here;
And so I smoke my pipe.







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