A Familiar Face

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A Familiar Face
written by William Henry Davies
New Poems (1907) Link to further information

O for a familiar face,
  To see the child outgrow the man!
'Shun him,' they cry, 'that man from jail:
Shun him, that slave to Bacchus ale;
  Shun him, who swears for all he can.'
Nay, what care I for that? I trace
My way through him to scenes of joy;
  I know him not as one who spent
  Part of his life in jail; he went
To the same school with me a boy,
  Which fills my heart with sweet content.

A thousand times I've set my mind
  Sternly 'gainst Bacchus and his race;
I've seen with pity men go mad,
And women going to the bad;
  But Chance hath brought my way a face
Which shows the boy I love behind.
'Say, how is little Jane, who went
  'To school between us two?' 'Oh, she
  Is well; and babies' - 'Babies!' - Three'.
And in the name of wonderment,
  Bacchus hath ta'en a hold on me.

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