To Quotation

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(Caused by "The Ethics of Misquotation" in the
  November _Atlantic Monthly_.)

Quotation! Brother to the Arts, assister
  to the Muse!
When Bartlett from his study height unfurled
  thine heaven-born hues,
The quotes were here, the quotes were there,
  the quotes were all around,
For Bartlett like a poultice came to blow the
  heels of sound.

Pernicious habit! One becomes a worse than
  senseless block,
A bard that no one dares to praise and fewer
  care to knock;
A sentence by a mossy stone, of quaint and
  curious lore,
An apt quotation is to one and it is nothing

Quotation! Ah, thou droppest as the gentle
  rain from heaven,
Thy brow is wet with honest sweat and the
  stars on thy head are seven.

Who steals my verse steals trash, for, soothly,
  he who runs may read,
But he who filches from me Bartlett leaves
  me poor indeed.

I fill this cup to Bartlett up, and may he rest
  in peace--
From Afric's sunny fountains to the happy
  Isles of Greece.
Quotation! O my Rod and Staff, my Joy
  sans let or end
With me abide, O handy guide, philosopher,
  and friend.

© Franklin Pierce Adams