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Poems: With a Sketch of the Life and Experience of Annie R. Smith

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    Proof Reader’s Lament

    What news is this falls on my ear?
    What next will to my sight appear?
    My brain doth whirl, my heart doth quake—
    Oh, that egregious mistake!
    PSAS 128.3

    “Too bad! too bad!!” I hear them cry,
    “You might have seen them with half an eye!
    Strange! passing strange!! how could you make
    So plain, so blunderous a mistake!”
    PSAS 128.4

    Ah! where it happened, when and how,
    This way or that, no matter now;
    Myself from blame I cannot shake—
    For there it is, that sad mistake.
    PSAS 128.5

    Guilty, condemned, I trembling stand,
    With pressing cares on every handed,
    Without one single plea to make,
    For leaving such a bad mistake.
    PSAS 129.1

    From morn till night, from night till morn,
    At every step, weary, forlorn,
    Whether I sleep, or whether wake,
    I’m haunted still with a mistake.
    PSAS 129.2

    If right, no meed of praise is won,
    No more than duty then is done;
    If wrong, then censure I partake,
    Deserving such a gross mistake.
    PSAS 129.3

    How long shall I o’er this bewail?
    “The best,” ‘tis said, “will sometimes fail;”
    Must it then peace forever break—
    Summed up, ‘tis only a mistake.
    PSAS 129.4

    A smile is my delight to share,
    A frown is more than I could bear;
    How great the sacrifice I’d make,
    If I could cease from a mistake.
    PSAS 129.5

    “I’ll try,” my motto yet shall be—
    Whate’er I hear, whate’er I see,
    And for my own and others’ sakes,
    Look out betimes for all mistakes.
    PSAS 129.6

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