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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Common Sense

By James Thomas Fields (1817–1881)

[Born in Portsmouth, N. H. Died in Boston, Mass., 1881. From Ballads and Other Verses. 1881.]

SHE came among the gathering crowd,

A maiden fair, without pretence,

And when they asked her humble name,

She whispered mildly, “Common Sense.”

Her modest garb drew every eye,

Her ample cloak, her shoes of leather;

And, when they sneered, she simply said,

“I dress according to the weather.”

They argued long, and reasoned loud,

In dubious Hindoo phrase mysterious,

While she, poor child, could not divine

Why girls so young should be so serious.

They knew the length of Plato’s beard,

And how the scholars wrote in Saturn;

She studied authors not so deep,

And took the Bible for her pattern.

And so she said, “Excuse me, friends,

I find all have their proper places,

And Common Sense should stay at home

With cheerful hearts and smiling faces.”