Poetry of Kansas

If I were You.

Would you have your name to echo,
      Generations through?
I would make it worth repeating
  If I were you.
Do you wish to win disciples?
      Reason and then no.
I would follow my own preaching
  If I were you.
Do you blow a public trumpet?
      Let its tone be true.
I would never pitch it fairly
  If I were you.
Would you fill a post of honor?
      Earn it ere you sue.
I would merit ere I begged it;,
  If I were you.
Are you set to serve your country?
      To your trust be true.
I'd not steal my master's silver
  If I were you,.
Are you fickle___prone to changing
      Old friends for the new?
I would keep the old and tried ones
  If I were you.
Have you won a loving woman?
      To your love be true.
I'd nod with a heart to break it.
  If I were you.
Would you leave a written record
      Clear as heaven's blue?
I would keep each page unspotted
  If I were you
Do you preach a day when judgement
      Gives each man his due
I would be what I pretended
If I were you

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Page 210-211

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March 17, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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