Fugitive Verses
Popular Reprinted Poetry from Nineteenth Century Newspapers

Advantage of Taking a Newspaper

Source of witness transcribed: Sunbury American and Shamokin Journal (Sunbury, Pennsylvania)

Date of witness transcribed: 3 July 1841

Notes about this poem: "Advantage of Taking a Newspaper" was printed in at least 210 newspapers during the nineteenth century. It can be found using ID 155563 in this table of most widely-reprinted poems.


The following exhibits the genius and talent of a true poet, of one who is destined to render himself immortal by his inspirations. There is a moral to it, an inspiration, which should stir up the soul of very liberal minded and intelligent beings:—Boston Transcript.

  • I knew two friends, as much alike
  • As e’er you saw two stumps;
  • And no phrenologist could find
  • A difference in their bumps.

  • One took the papers, and his life
  • Was happier than a king’s;
  • His children all can read and write,
  • And talk of men and things.

  • The other took no papers, and
  • While strolling through the wood,
  • A tree fell down upon his crown,
  • And hurt him, as it should!

  • Had he been reading of the news
  • At home, like neighbor Jim,
  • I’ll bet a cent this accident
  • Would not befallen him!