The Poetry of Lillian E. Curtis

Lillian E. Curtis was born in Chicago in the mid-1800s, and she published two collections of poems. A third was written but was destroyed in a fire before publication. Thankfully, these gems survived.

“Only One Eye”

Oh! She was a lovely girl,
So pretty and so fair,
With gentle, lovelit eyes,
And wavy, dark-brown hair.

I loved the gentle girl,
But oh! I heaved a sigh,
When first she told me she could see,
Out of only one eye.

But soon I thought within myself,
I’d better save my tear and sigh,
To bestow upon some I know
Who has more than one eye.

She is brave and intelligent,
Too she is witty and wise,
She’ll accomplish more now, than many
Who have two eyes.

Ah! You need not pity her,
She needs not your tear and sigh,
She makes good use, I tell you,
Of her one remaining eye.

In the home where we are hastening
In our eternal Home on High,
See that you be not rivaled
By the girl with only one eye.

“The Potato”

What on this wide earth,
That is made, or does by nature grow,
Is more homely, yet more beautiful,
Than the useful Potato?

What would this world full of people do,
Rich and poor, high and low,
Were it not for this little-thought-of
But very necessary Potato?

True ’tis homely to look on,
Nothing pretty in even its blow,
But it will bear acquaintance,
This useful Potato.

For when it is cooked and opened,
It’s so white and mellow,
You forget it ever was homely,
This useful Potato.

On the whole it is a very plain plant,
Makes no conspicuous show.
But the internal appearance is lovely,
Of the unostentatious Potato.

The useful and the beautiful
Are not far apart we know.
And thus the beautiful are glad to have,
The homely looking Potato.

On the land, or on the sea,
Wherever we may go,
We are always glad to welcome
The homely Potato.

A practical and moral lesson
This may plainly show,
That though homely, our heart can be
Like that of the homely Potato.