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Dedicatory Poem For Underwoods

 TO her, for I must still regard her
As feminine in her degree,
Who has been my unkind bombarder
Year after year, in grief and glee,
Year after year, with oaken tree;
And yet betweenwhiles my laudator
In terms astonishing to me -
To the Right Reverend The Spectator
I here, a humble dedicator,
Bring the last apples from my tree.
In tones of love, in tones of warning, She hailed me through my brief career; And kiss and buffet, night and morning, Told me my grandmamma was near; Whether she praised me high and clear Through her unrivalled circulation, Or, sanctimonious insincere, She damned me with a misquotation - A chequered but a sweet relation, Say, was it not, my granny dear? Believe me, granny, altogether Yours, though perhaps to your surprise.
Oft have you spruced my wounded feather, Oft brought a light into my eyes - For notice still the writer cries.
In any civil age or nation, The book that is not talked of dies.
So that shall be my termination: Whether in praise or execration, Still, if you love me, criticise!

by Robert Louis Stevenson
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