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Bad Habits

by E. F. Hayward

Bad habits are hounds which you take in, and feed;
You don't have to coax them at all;
Just give them one meal, they'll return, that's their breed;
You won't have to whistle or call.
They will follow your tracks wherever you go,
Although you have found you don't need them;
They're right at your heels, be your gait fast or slow,
They'll stay, as long as you feed them;
They get active and strong, on the food they're fed,
They think you're weak, so won't mind you;
They run on ahead, and refuse to be led,—
You'll seldom find them behind you.
They hamper your speed, and are right in your way,
When you hunt a job, they're around;
But the man who would hire, and good wages pay,
Don't want a man, led by a hound.
You've tired of the hounds, and ashamed to be seen
With dogs, which are stronger than you;
You're sorry you fed them, they turned out so mean,
But you did, so what can you do?
There's one way to shake them; don't feed them a thing;
Starvation will drive them away.
When you know the trouble bad habits will bring,
Starve them out; don't feed them one day.

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