Boil it down (1924)

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For other versions of this work, see Boil it down.

If you've got a thought that's happy,
Boil it down.
Make it short and crisp and snappy,
Boil it down.

When your brain its coin has minted,
Down the page your pen has sprinted,
If you want your effort printed,
Boil it down.

Take out every surplus letter,
Boil it down.
Fewer syllables the better,
Boil it down.

Make your meaning plain.
Express it so we'll know not merely guess it;
then my friend ere you address it,
Boil it down.

Cut out all the extra trimmings,
Boil it down.
Skim it well, then skim the skimmings,
Boil it down.

When you're sure 'twould be a sin to
Cut another sentence into,
send it on, and we'll begin to,
BOIL IT DOWN!

This anonymous or pseudonymous work is in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in its home country or area as of 1 January 1996, and was never published in the US prior to that date. It is also in the public domain in other countries and areas where the copyright terms of anonymous or pseudonymous works are 80 years or less since publication.