Book and Briar


The second stanza of the five-stanza poem, “I Have a Few Friends,” by Canadian Poet Robert Service [1874-1958] elebrates the friendship of book and briar:

I have some friends, some honest friends,

And honest friends are few;

My pipe of briar, my open fire,

A book that’s not too new;

My bed so warm, the nights of storm

I love to listen to.

Source: Collected Poems of Robert Service

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Dedication to Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow


Here is the unabridged dedication Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) wrote for his book The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow (published 1886):

THE VERY DEAR AND WELL-BELOVED

FRIEND

OF MY PROSPEROUS AND EVIL DAYS—

TO THE FRIEND

WHO, THOUGH, IN THE EARLY STAGES OF OUR ACQUAINT-

ANCESHIP, DID OFTTIMES DISAGREE WITH ME, HAS

SINCE BECOME TO BE MY VERY WARMEST

COMRADE—

TO THE FRIEND

WHO, HOWEVER, OFTEN I MAY PUT HIM OUT, NEVER (NOW)

UPSETS ME IN REVENGE—

TO THE FRIEND

WHO, TREATED WITH MARKED COOLNESS BY ALL THE FEMALE

MEMBERS OF MY HOUSEHOLD, AND REGARDED WITH

SUSPICION BY MY VERY DOG, NEVERTHELESS,

SEEMS DAY BY DAY TO BE MORE DRAWN

BY ME, AND IN RETURN, TO MORE

AND MORE IMPREGNATE ME

WITH THE ODOR OF HIS

FRIENDSHIP—

TO THE FRIEND

WHO NEVER TELLS ME OF MY FAULTS, NEVER WANTS TO

BORROW MONEY, AND NEVER TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF—

TO THE COMPANION

OF MY IDLE HOURS, THE SOOTHER OF MY SORROWS,

THE CONFIDANT OF MY JOYS AND HOPES—

MY OLDEST AND STRONGEST

PIPE,

THIS LITTLE VOLUME

IS

GRATEFULLY AND AFFECTIONATELY

DEDICATED

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