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Chapter & Verse

Correspondence on not-so-famous lost words

January-February 2016

Thomas Gutheil seeks the full text of a poem with a final couplet that runs, as best he recollects: “His claims to be brutally frank were just endless, / Until, to be brutally frank, he was friendless.”

More queries from the archives:

“Life is all right but for a bad 15 minutes at the end” (perhaps from Edward Gibbon)

“Not at the table, Amanda” (c. 1920s)

“Beginning in October effectively again”

“Childhood is a lost, enchanted land, and we spend the rest of our lives trying to find it again.”

The words to “My Little Papaya Tree,” heard sung on the radio to the tune of “The 12 Days of Christmas”

Send inquiries and answers to “Chapter and Verse,” Harvard Magazine, 7 Ware Street, Cambridge 02138 or via e-mail to

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