(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

Lines For An Album

I would not trace the hackneyed phrase
Of shallow words and empty praise,
And prate of 'peace' till one might think
My foolish pen was drunk with ink.
Nor will I here the wish express
Of 'lasting love and happiness,'
And 'cloudless skies'--for after all
'Into each life some rain must fall.'
--No. Keep the empty page below,
In my remembrance, white as snow--
Nor sigh to know the secret prayer
My spirit hand has written there.

by James Whitcomb Riley

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