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I have a bowl of paper whites,
Of paper-white narcissus;
Their fragrance my whole soul delights,
They smell delissus.
(They grow in pebbles in the sun
And each is like a star.)

I sit and scan the news hard by
My paper-white narcissus;
I read how fast a plane can fly,
Against my wissus.
(The course of speed is almost run,
We know not where we are.)

The grow in pebbles in the sun,
My beautiful narcissus,
Casting their subtle shade upon
Tropical fissus.
(No movement mars each tiny star;
Speed has been left behind.)

I’d gladly trade the latest thing
For paper-white narcissus;
Science, upon its airfoil wing,
Now seems pernissus.
(Who was it said to travel far
Might dissipate the mind?)

I love this day, this hour, this room,
This motionless narcissus;
I love the stillness of the home,
I love the missus.
(She grows in pebbles in my sun
And she is like a star.)

And though the modern world be through
With paper-white narcissus,
I shall arise and I shall do
The breakfast dissus.
(The tranquil heart may yet outrun
The rocket and the car.)

“Window Ledge in the Atom Age” by E. B. White

The Second Tree from the Corner

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