John Henry Newman

Opusculum

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Fair Cousin, thy page
is small to encage
the thoughts which engage
the mind of a sage,
such as I am;

'Twere in teaspoon to take
the whole Genevese lake,
or a lap-dog to make
the white Elephant sac-
-red in Siam.

Yet inadequate though
to the terms strange and so-
-lemn that figure in po-
-lysyllabical row
in a treatise;

Still, true words and plain,
of the heart, not the brain,
in affectionate strain,
this book to contain
very meet is.

So I promise to be
a good Cousin to thee,
and to keep safe the se-
-cret I heard, although e-
-v'ry one know it;

With a lyrical air
my kind thoughts I would dare,
and offer whate'er
beseems the news, were
I a poet.

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John Henry Newman