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For no one, in our long decline,So dusty, spiteful and divided,Had quite such pleasant friends as mine,Or loved them half as much as I did. [stanza 3]The library was most inviting:The books upon the crowded shelvesWere mainly of our private writing:We kept a school and taught ourselves. [stanza 15]From quiet homes and first beginning,Out to the undiscovered ends,Theres nothing worth the wear of winning,But laughter and the love of friends. [stanza 22]You do retain the song we set,And how it rises, trips and scans?You keep the sacred memory yet,Republicans? Republicans?[stanza 36]

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Source Notes: Source: HILAIRE BELLOC, Dedicatory Ode, Sonnets and Verse, pp. 70, 73, 74, 76 .Republicans was the name of the friends club

A bit about Hilaire Belloc ...

Joseph Hilaire Pierre Ren Belloc (July 27, 1870 - July 16, 1953) was one of the most prolific writers in England during the early twentieth century. His style and personality led to the nickname, "Old Thunder".

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