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Augustin S. Macdonald, comp. A Collection of Verse by California Poets. 1914.

By Lionel Josaphare

To My Ink-Well

THOU blotty bottle, bottle stained and grim,

Thou imp, thou gnome, a moody friend art thou.

And yet thyself I would not trade, I vow,

For golden ink-decanter with a rim

Of pearls and decorations wreathed and slim.

Now tell me, ugly boy with inky brow,

Of some unwritten thoughts, which you allow

To dream awhile within your tranquil brim.

How many black imaginings are there

Waiting to crawl out for my livelihood?

Phantasmas, whims, a poet’s morbid ware,

Capricious thoughts, perhaps misunderstood?—

All liquid yet and blended in their well;

Some will be born; how many, who can tell?