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POEM OF THE DAY

THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY

I am a friar of orders gray,
And down in the valleys I take my way;
I pull not blackberry, haw, or hip;
Good store of venison fills my scrip;
My long bead-roll I merrily chant;
Where'er I walk no money I want;
And why I'm so plump the reason I tell:
Who leads a good life is sure to live well.
        What baron or squire,
        Or knight of the shire,
        Lives half so well as a holy friar?

After supper, of heaven I dream,
But that is a pullet and clouted cream;
Myself by denial I mortify--
With a dainty bit of a warden-pie;
I'm clothed in sackcloth for my sin--
With old sack wine I'm lined within;
A chirping cup is my matin song,
And the vesper's bell is my bowl, ding-dong.
        What baron or squire,
        Or knight of the shire,
        Lives half so well as a holy friar?

                                                John O'Keefe.

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