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A poem by Helen Leah Reed

The Annex

Title:     The Annex
Author: Helen Leah Reed [More Titles by Reed]

"Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage"
High halls do not a College make, nor book-lined shelves a sage.
So might I follow haltingly these olden words to show
That even in this newer home the Annex may not know
A greater zeal for learning than the old house could bestow.
But comparisons are odious, so I'll merely try to say
That cherished deep within the hearts of many here today
Is the memory of that early home in the classic Appian Way.
There first did the young Annex (whose real Christian name
Contains as many syllables as it has liens on fame)
Win laurels even brighter than its friends had hoped to claim.
And there, too, in their search, for intellectual recreation
Its students formed the short-lived Appian Way Association
Of which this later Club is but an "Idler" imitation.
Just where the interloper dwelt was long a mystery.
In the past to Harvard students and to townsmen equally,
Till they cried, "There is no Annex--believe we only what we see!"
Now the Annex and its mission every year are better known,
From the smallest of beginnings strong and powerful it has grown:
Only Harvard Freshmen speak of it in supercilious tone,
Although custom would forbid us as we are passing near,
To salute the ancient building with a rousing Annex cheer,
We need no sign like this to prove that still we hold it dear.
Now the students who have profited by their foreseeing care
Fondly thank the Annex founders who knew not the word "despair."
Its best home was the hearts of those who planned the structure fair.

(Read at a College celebration.)

[The end]
Helen Leah Reed's poem: Annex