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´╗┐Title: The Passing Throng
Author: Guest, Edgar A. (Edgar Albert)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Passing Throng" ***

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  The
  Passing Throng


  By

  Edgar A. Guest



  The Reilly & Lee Co.
  Chicago



  _Printed in the U. S. A._



  _Copyright, 1923_
  _by_
  _The Reilly & Lee Co._

  _All Rights Reserved_



  _The Passing Throng_



_By_

Edgar A. Guest

_Verse--_
  The Light of Faith
  A Heap o' Livin'
  Just Folks
  Poems of Patriotism
  The Path to Home
  When Day Is Done
  The Passing Throng
  Rhymes of Childhood
  Harbor Lights of Home
  The Friendly Way
  Life's Highway

_Illustrated--_
  All That Matters

_Prose--_
  What My Religion Means to Me
  Making the House a Home
  My Job as a Father
  Why I Go to Church
  You Can't Live Your Own Life

_Gift Books--_
  Mother
  Father
  Home
  Friends
  You
  Faith



  To
  W. F. L.

  Whose friendship needs neither
  symbol nor token,
  this book is affectionately dedicated



  INDEX


  Abe Lincoln
  Apples Ripe for Eating
  Arcady

  Ballad of the Indifferent Whist Player, The
  Battle of Belleau Wood
  Being Brave at Night
  Beneath the Dirt
  Bill and I Went Fishing
  Book and a Pipe, A
  Boy or Girl?
  Boy's Feet, A
  Boy, The
  Bread and Butter
  Broken Wheel, The
  Busy Summer Cottage, The

  Callers, The
  Carpet on the Stairs, The
  Carving Knife, The
  Certain Man, A
  Chimney Piece, The
  Choir Boy, The
  Consolation
  Crocus, The
  Cup of Tea, A

  Dirty Hands
  Down the Lanes of August
  Dreamer, The
  Driver of the Truck, The

  Easter

  Fairy and the Robin, The
  Fairy Story, A
  Father Song
  Football

  Garden Catalogue, The
  Good Enough
  Good Night
  Grass and Children
  Grief's Only Master
  Guiseppe Tomassi

  Here on the Earth
  High Chair Days
  Hills of Faith, The
  His Work
  Horse and Cutter Days
  Hot Mince Pie

  I Don't Want to Go to Bed
  If It's Worth While
  If I Were a Boss
  If I Were Sending My Boy Afar
  I Mustn't Forget
  Inspiration of the Past, The

  Last Night the Baby Cried
  Laughing Boy, The
  Lay of the Troubled Golfer, The
  Lesson of the Crate, The
  Let's Be Brave
  Letter, The
  Life Needs Us All
  Life's Equipment
  Little Clothes Line, The
  Living with the People
  Luckless Fisherman, The

  Making of a Friend, The
  Man Must Want, A
  Man Who Gets Promoted, The
  Morning Brigands
  Mortgage and the Man, The
  Mother and the Styles
  Mother's Way
  Mushroom Expert, The
  My Goals

  October
  Old-Fashioned Dinners
  Old-Fashioned Remedies
  Old-Time Lilac Bush, The
  "Our Little House"
  Out-Doors Man, The
  Over the Crib

  Partridge Time
  Passing Throng, The
  Peter and Paul
  Proud Father

  Questioning

  Radio, The

  Sacrifices
  Scoutmaster, The
  She Never Gave Me a Chance
  Ships
  Shoes
  Song in Everything, A
  Spirit of the Home, The
  Spring Fever
  Stick to It

  Take a Boy Along With You
  Teach Them of the Flag
  Tender Blossoms, The
  They're Waiting Over There
  Time I Played With Vardon, The
  To the Little Baby
  Tower Clock, The
  Town of Used to Be, The
  Training of Jimmy McBride, The
  Triumph
  True Critic, The
  Tumbler at the Sink, The

  Visitors

  Waiter, The
  Way of a Wife, The
  What a Father Wants to Know
  When Father Broke His Arm
  When I Get Home
  When There's Company for Tea
  When the Soap Gets in Your Eye
  White Oak, The
  Whooping Cough
  Wife o' Mine

  Yellow Dog, The



  _The Passing Throng_

  From newsboy to the millionaire
    The passing throng goes by each day;
  The old man with his weight of care,
    The maiden in her colors gay,
  The mother with her babe in arms,
    The dreamer and the man of might,
  Grief's cruel scars and laughter's charms
    Pass by the window, day and night.

  Now slowly rides a corpse to find
    The grave and its unbroken sleep,
  And in the carriages behind
    A score of sorrowing loved ones weep;
  But scarcely has the hearse passed by
    Upon its journey to the tomb,
  When, wreathed with smiles of love, we spy
    The faces of a bride and groom.

  We cannot understand it all,
    We cannot know why this is so;
  From dawn until night's curtains fall,
    We see the people come and go.
  Hope lights the eyes of youth to-day,
    To-morrow care has left them dim;
  Once this man proudly walked his way,
    But now defeat has broken him.

  Could we but watch, as God must do,
    We'd see the struggling youth arise,
  We'd see him brave his dangers through,
    And reach his goal and claim the prize.
  And we might judge with gentler sight
    The broken lives, which come and go,
  And better choose 'twixt wrong and right--
    If we could know what God must know.



  _Wife o' Mine_

  Wife o' Mine, day after day
  Cheering me along the way;
  Patient, tender, smiling, true,
  Always ready to renew
  Faltering courage and to share
  All the day may bring of care;
  Dreaming dreams wherein you see
  Brighter years that are to be;
  Calling paltry pleasures fine--
  That's you always, Wife o' Mine.

  Wife o' Mine, we've shed some tears
  With the passing of the years,
  Mourned beside our lovely dead;
  But somehow you've always said
  You and I could bear the blow
  Knowing God had willed it so;
  And you've smiled to show to me
  Just how brave you meant to be,
  Smiled to keep my faith in line--
  That's you, always, Wife o' Mine.

  Wife o' Mine, long years ago
  Once I promised you would know
  Luxuries and costly things,
  Gowns of silk and jeweled rings,
  And you laughed as though you knew
  Dreams like that could not come true;
  Now perhaps they never will,
  But I see you laughing still,
  Welcoming me with eyes that shine--
  That's you always, Wife o' Mine.



  _Let's Be Brave_

  Let's be brave when the laughter dies
  And the tears come into our troubled eyes,
  Let's cling to the faith and the old belief
  When the skies grow gray with the clouds of grief,
  Let's bear the sorrow and hurt and pain
  And wait till the laughter comes again.

  Let's be brave when the trials come
  And our hearts are sad and our lips are dumb,
  Let's strengthen ourselves in the times of test
  By whispering softly that God knows best;
  Let us still believe, though we cannot know,
  We shall learn sometime it is better so.

  Let's be brave when the joy departs
  Till peace shall come to our troubled hearts,
  For the tears must fall and the rain come down
  And each brow be pressed to the thorny crown;
  Yet after the dark shall the sun arise,
  So let's be brave when the laughter dies.



  _Boy or Girl?_

  Some folks pray for a boy, and some
  For a golden-haired little girl to come.
    Some claim to think there is more of joy
    Wrapped up in the smile of a little boy,
    While others pretend that the silky curls
    And plump, pink cheeks of the little girls
    Bring more of bliss to the old home place
    Than a small boy's queer little freckled face.

  Now which is better, I couldn't say
  If the Lord should ask me to choose to-day;
    If He should put in a call for me
    And say: "Now what shall your order be,
    A boy or girl?  I have both in store--
    Which of the two are you waiting for?"
    I'd say with one of my broadest grins:
    "Send either one, if it can't be twins."

  I've heard it said, to some people's shame,
  They cried with grief when a small boy came,
    For they wanted a girl.  And some folks I know
    Who wanted a boy, just took on so
    When a girl was sent.  But it seems to me
    That mothers and fathers should happy be
    To think, when the Stork has come and gone,
    That the Lord would trust them with either one.

  Boy or girl?  There can be no choice;
  There's something lovely in either voice.
    And all that I ask of the Lord to do
    Is to see that the mother comes safely through
    And guard the baby and have it well,
    With a perfect form and a healthy yell,
    And a pair of eyes and a shock of hair.
    Then, boy or girl--and its dad won't care.



  _They're Waiting Over There_

  They're waiting for us over there;
  The young, the beautiful and fair
  Who left us, oh, so long ago,
  Lonely and hurt on earth below,
  Are waiting bravely, never fear,
  Until our faces shall appear.

  Then, when our journey here is done,
  And we set out to follow on
  Through the great, heavy mantled door
  Which leads to rest forevermore,
  They will be there to laugh away
  The loneliness we feel to-day.

  They'll welcome us with wondrous grace,
  And show us all about the place;
  They'll take us gently by the hand
  And guide us through that radiant land;
  They'll tell us all they've learned and seen
  Through the long absence that has been.

  We'll meet the friends who have been kind
  To them the while we stayed behind--
  Angels who long have dwelt above,
  Who welcomed them with arms of love,
  And sheltered them the long years through,
  Just as we'd prayed for them to do.

  Though now you mourn, who stay behind,
  How sad 'twould be to leave, and find
  Upon that distant other shore
  No loved one who had gone before--
  The gates of Heaven to enter through
  With no one there to welcome you.

  As now, when some long journey ends
  And we're received by smiling friends
  Who've watched and waited for our train,
  So shall they welcome us again;
  The young, the beautiful and fair
  Will all be waiting for us there.



  _Visitors_

  We've had a lot of visitors, it seems, for weeks
      an' weeks,
  And Pa is gettin' all run down.  Ma says that
      when he speaks
  He isn't civil any more.  He mopes around the place
  And always seems to wear a look of sadness on
      his face.
  And yesterday he said to Ma when she began to fuss:
  "I wonder when they're going to quit an' leave the
      home to us.

  "It's nice to have your people come, but some of
      them should go;
  Instead of that they're sticking here like bull dogs
      at a show.
  'The more the merrier,' they shout, as other ones drop in.
  I'm getting so I cannot stand to see your cousins grin
  And, what is more, I'm getting tired of driving
      folks about
  And mighty tired of visitors who must be taken out.

  "Night after night when I've come home I've hauled
      them near and far,
  You'd think I was the driver of a town sight-seeing car.
  I've hauled them up to factories and monuments and parks,
  Museums and aquariums; I've shown 'em seals and sharks
  And bears and wolves and elephants; and now I want to quit.
  I know they'd do the same for me, but I am sick of it.

  "I wouldn't say a word at all about your folks, I know
  They're just as nice as they can be, but still I wish
      they'd go.
  I'm tired of all the buzz and talk, the tales of those
      who've died;
  I'm tired of seeing all our chairs forever occupied."
  "And I am tired myself," said Ma, "as tired as I can be,
  You're only on the job at night, but it's all day
      long for me."



  _When Father Broke His Arm_

  Pa never gets a story straight.
  He's always mixed about the date,
  Or where it was, or what occurred,
  Or who related what he heard;
  And every time he starts to tell
  Some little story he knows well,
  Ma says: "No, Pa, as I recall,
  That isn't how it was at all."

  "Remember when I broke my arm,"
  Says Pa, "when we were on the farm
  And I went out that slippery morn
  A few days after Bud was born,
  To get some wood"--and Ma says then:
  "Oh, Pa, don't tell that tale again!
  And anyhow, I know right well
  Bud wasn't born the day you fell."

  "'Twas months before he came," says Ma.
  "'Twas after he was born," says Pa;
  "I rather think I ought to know
  Just when it was I suffered so."
  "Maybe you ought," says Ma, "but still,
  I saw you tumble down the hill,
  And it was March with snow drifts high--
  Bud wasn't born till next July."

  "I'd walk him round the floor," says Pa.
  "You're all mixed up again," says Ma.
  "We'll ask Aunt Lizzie, she was there,
  She'd come to help."  Says Ma: "I swear
  You're just as crazy as a loon,
  Aunt Lizzie didn't come till June.
  To argue on is most absurd,
  Bud wasn't born when that occurred."

  I wish I knew just what is what
  Or whether I was born or not,
  But I'll just have to sit and wait
  Until Pa gets his story straight;
  And I have never heard at all
  Just how it was he chanced to fall,
  For Pa and Ma can't yet agree
  Which one came first--the fall or me.



  _The Spirit of the Home_

  Dishes to wash and clothes to mend,
    And always another meal to plan,
  Never the tasks of a mother end
    And oh, so early her day began!
  Floors to sweep and the pies to bake,
    And chairs to dust and the beds to make.

  Oh, the home is fair when you come at night
    And the meal is good and the children gay,
  And the kettle sings in its glad delight
    And the mother smiles in her gentle way;
  So great her love that you seldom see
  Or catch a hint of the drudgery.

  Home, you say, when the day is done,
    Home to comfort and peace and rest;
  Home, where the children romp and run--
    There is the place that you love the best!
  Yet what would the home be like if you
  Had all of its endless tasks to do?

  Would it be home if she were not there,
    Brave and gentle and fond and true?
  Could you so fragrant a meal prepare?
    Could you the numberless duties do?
  What were the home that you love so much,
  Lacking her presence and gracious touch?

  She is the spirit of all that's fair;
    She is the home that you think you build;
  She is the beauty you dream of there;
    She is the laughter with which it's filled--
  She, with her love and her gentle smile,
  Is all that maketh the home worth while.



  _If I Were Sending My Boy Afar_

  If I were sending my boy afar
  To live and labor where strangers are,
  I should hold him close till the time to go,
  Telling him things which he ought to know;
  I should whisper counsel and caution wise,
  Hinting of dangers which might arise,
  And tell him the things I have learned from life,
  Of its bitter pain and its cruel strife
  And the sore temptations which men beset,
  And then add this: "Boy, don't forget
  When your strength gives out and your hope grows dim,
  Your father will help if you'll come to him."

  If I were sending a boy away,
  I should hold him close on the parting day
  And give him my trust.  Through thick and thin
  I should tell him I counted on him to win,
  To keep his word at whatever cost,
  To play the man though his fight be lost.
  But beyond all that I should whisper low:
  "If trouble comes, let your father know;
  Come to him, son, as you used to do
  When you were little--he'll see you through.
  I am trusting you in a distant land.
  You trust your father to understand.

  "Trust me wherever you chance to be,
  Know there is nothing to hide from me,
  Tell me it all--your tale of woe,
  The sting of failure that hurts you so.
  Never, whatever your plight may be,
  Think it something to hide from me;
  Come to me first in your hour of need,
  Come though you know that my heart will bleed!
  Boy, when the shadows of trouble fall,
  Come to your father first of all."



  _The White Oak_

  The white oak keeps its leaves till spring when other
      trees are bare,
  And who will take the time to look, will find the
      young bud there;
  The young bud nestled snug and warm against the
      winter's cold;
  The young bud being sheltered by the knowledge of
      the old.

  And when the spring shall come again--and gentle
      turns the day,
  The youthful bud will swell with strength and thrust
      the old away;
  The youthful bud will seek the breeze and hunger
      for the sun,
  And down to earth will fall the old with all its
      duty done.

  Then, heedless of the parent leaf, the youthful
      bud will grow
  And watch the robins build their nests and watch
      the robins go.
  Then something strange will come to it when that
      young leaf grows old,
  It, too, will want to shield its babe against the
      winter's cold.

  It, too, will cling unto the tree through many a
      dreary day
  Until the spring-time comes again and it is
      thrust away;
  Then it will flutter down to earth with all its
      duty done,
  And leave behind its happy child to drink the
      morning sun.

  How like man's life from birth to close!  How like
      the white oak tree
  Which keeps a shelter for its young against the
      storms, are we!
  We guard our children through the night and watch
      them through the day,
  And when at last our work is done, like leaves,
      we fall away.



  _Dirty Hands_

  I have to wash myself at night before I go to bed,
  An' wash again when I get up, and wash before
      I'm fed,
  An' Ma inspects my neck an' ears an' Pa my hands
      an' shirt--
  They seem to wonder why it is that I'm so fond
      of dirt.
  But Bill--my chum--an' I agree that we have
      never seen
  A feller doing anything whose hands were white
      an' clean.

  Bill's mother scolds the same as mine an' calls him
      in from play
  To make him wash his face an' hands a dozen times
      a day.
  Dirt seems to worry mothers so.  But when the plumber
      comes
  To fix the pipes, it's plain to see he never scrubs
      his thumbs;
  His clothes are always thick with grease, his face
      is smeared with dirt,
  An' he is not ashamed to show the smudges on his shirt.

  The motorman who runs the car has hands much worse
      than mine,
  An' I have noticed when we ride there's dirt in
      every line.
  The carpenter who works around our house can mend
      a chair
  Or put up shelves or fix the floor, an' mother
      doesn't care
  That he's not in his Sunday best; she never interferes
  An' makes him stop his work to go upstairs to wash
      his ears.

  The fellers really doing things, as far as I can see.
  Have hands and necks and ears that are as dirty
      as can be.
  The man who fixes father's car when he can't make it go,
  Most always has a smudgy face--his hands aren't
      white as snow.
  But I must wash an' wash an' wash while everybody knows
  The most important men in town have dirty hands
      and clo'es.



  _If I Were a Boss_

  If I were a boss I would like to say:
  "You did a good job here yesterday."
  I'd look for a man, or a girl, or boy
  Whose heart would leap with a thrill of joy
  At a word of praise, and I'd pass it out
  Where the crowd could hear as I walked about.

  If I were the boss I would like to find
  The fellow whose work is the proper kind;
  And whenever to me a good thing came,
  I'd ask to be told the toiler's name,
  And I'd go to him and I'd pat his back
  And I'd say: "That was perfectly splendid, Jack!"

  Now a bit of praise isn't much to give,
  But it's dear to the hearts of all who live;
  And there's never a man on this good old earth
  But is glad to be told that he's been of worth;
  And a kindly word when the work is fair
  Is welcomed and wanted everywhere.

  If I were a boss, I am sure I should
  Say a kindly word whenever I could,
  For the man who has given his best by day
  Wants a little more than his weekly pay;
  He likes to know, with the setting sun,
  That his boss is pleased with the work he's done.



  _To the Little Baby_

  You know your mother--that's plain as day,
  But those wide blue eyes of you seem to say
  When I bend over your crib: "Now who
  Are you?"
  It's little figure I cut, I know,
  And faces trouble a baby so,
  But I'm the gladdest of all the glad--
  Your dad!

  You're two months old, and you see us smile,
  And I know you are wondering all the while
  Whoever on earth can these people be
  You see.
  You've learned your mother; you know her well
  When hunger rattles the dinner bell,
  But somehow or other you cannot place
  My face.

  As yet, I'm but one of the passing throng,
  The curious people who come along
  And pause at your crib, and you seem to say
  Each day:
  "I know one voice that is sweet to hear,
  I know her step when my mother's near,
  I know her wonderful smile--but who
  Are you?

  "You always come with the same old grin,
  Your finger's rough when you tickle my chin,
  But you run away when I start to cry,
  And I
  Don't understand when visitors call
  Why you're so afraid they will let me fall.
  You are the queerest of all the queer
  Folks here!"

  It's true that over your crib I stand
  And tickle your chin with my rough old hand.
  And I run away when you start to cry,
  But I
  Have a right to my queer little funny ways,
  To boast your worth and to sound your praise,
  For I am the gladdest of all the glad--
  Your dad.



  _His Work_

  There isn't much fame on a farm, an' the farm doesn't
      pile up the wealth;
  It gives you an appetite early an' late, an' it's usually
      lavish with health.
  The world travels by in its cars, but the men and the
      women don't see
  Any reason to cheer anything that I do or pin any
      medals on me;
  But I'm doin' my work just the same an' at night-time
      the Lord an' I know
  That the wheat's lookin' fine in the acres out there,
      and I--well, I helped it to grow.

  Sometimes I get gloomy an' blue an' wish I could rise
      with the great,
  An' wish I could point something out which my hands
      have builded or helped to create;
  Then the orchard looks over to me an' the fruit-laden
      trees seem to say,
  "If it were not for you an' the care that you've given,
      we wouldn't be bearin' today."
  An' the acres of corn over there, I planted 'em all,
      row by row,
  "The good gift o' nature," the poets declare--but
      the Lord knows I helped it to grow.

  I reckon I'm fillin' my place, though workin' all
      day on the soil
  An' standin' the heat of the merciless sun isn't
      listed as glorious toil.
  There's little of brilliance here, an' there's
      nothin' to brag of; I guess
  A farmer's a farmer, an' that's all he is--an' his
      crops are his only success.
  But the Lord knows, an' I know it, too, as I plough
      or I harrow or hoe,
  That these fields would be barren of wheat an' of
      corn, if I hadn't helped 'em to grow.



  _Bread and Butter_

  I've eaten chicken a la king
    And many a fancy dish,
  I think I've tasted everything
    The heart of man can wish;
  But nightly when we dine alone,
    My grateful praise I utter
  Unto that good old stand-by, known
    As mother's bread and butter.

  Some think it very common fare
    And may be they are right,
  But I can take that wholesome pair
    At morning, noon and night;
  And there's a happy thrill I feel
    That sets my heart a-flutter
  As I sit down to make a meal
    Of mother's bread and butter.

  Though poets sing their favorite foods
    In lilting lines and sweet,
  And each unto his different moods
    Tells what he likes to eat,
  I still remain the little boy
    Who gleefully would mutter
  A youngster's gratitude and joy
    For mother's bread and butter.

  So now, for all the joy I've had
    From such a wholesome pair
  Since first I was a little lad
    In hunger's deep despair,
  I hold the finest food of all--
    Though epicures may sputter
  And sneer me from the banquet hall--
    Is mother's bread and butter.



  _The Little Clothes Line_

  The little clothes line by the kitchen door!
    My mother stretched it once when I was young,
  And there the garments which the baby wore,
    Each morning, very carefully, she hung.

  Square bits of flannel fluttered in the breeze,
    White stockings very delicate and small,
  Long flowing dresses and the glad bootees,
    A little blanket and a knitted shawl.

  Then came the day when mother took it down,
    And we forgot what symbols fluttered there;
  We'd grown to breast the current of the town,
    To fight for conquest and to stand to care.

  Ten years ago she smiled and said to me:
    "I want a little clothes line by the door."
  And there she hung, for all the world to see,
    The various bits of raiment which he wore.

  Even the ragman on his alley round
    Knew, by the symbols fluttering on that line,
  That there a little baby would be found,
    And day by day he saw that glorious sign.

  Then boyhood came and called our babe away,
    Muscled him strong and turned his cheeks to brown,
  Gave him the strength to run and romp and play,
    And then she took the little clothes line down.

  To-day I sat beside her bed, and she
    Smiled the sweet smile of motherhood once more.
  "When I get up again," she said to me,
    "I'll want a little clothes line by the door."



  _The Ballad of the Indifferent Whist Player_

  I am not much at the game,
    Careless the things that I do;
  Those whose approval I claim
    When I attempt it, are few;
  Bridge players look in dismay
    After a hand I have played,
  Always they icily say:
    "Why did you lead me a spade?"

  I, who am gentle and tame,
    Am scorned by a merciless crew;
  I bear the brunt and the blame
    Whenever they mutter, "Down two!"
  No matter what card I may play,
    No matter that whist's not my trade,
  Always they sneeringly say:
    "Why did you lead me a spade?"

  Matron, young maiden or dame,
    Brown eyes or gray eyes or blue,
  Angrily treat me the same
    Recalling the cards that I drew.
  Be it December or May,
    Ever she starts this tirade
  With a look that's intended to slay:
    "Why did you lead me a spade?"

    _L'Envoi_

  Prince, when my soul flies away
    And my form in the cold ground is laid,
  Let me rest where nobody will say:
    "Why did you lead me a spade?"



  _The Broken Wheel_

  We found the car beneath a tree.
  "The steering knuckle broke," said he;
  "The driver's dead; they say his wife
  Will be an invalid for life.
  I wonder how the man must feel
  Who made that faulty steering wheel."

  It seemed a curious thought, and I
  Sat thinking, as the cars went by,
  About the man who made the wheel
  And shaped that knuckle out of steel;
  I tried to visualize the scene--
  The man, the steel and the machine.

  Perhaps the workman never saw
  An indication of the flaw;
  Or, seeing it, he fancied it
  Would not affect his work a bit,
  And said: "It's good enough to go--
  I'll pass it on.  They'll never know."

  "It's not exactly to my best
  But it may pass the final test;
  And should it break, no man can know
  It was my hand that made it so.
  The thing is faulty, but perhaps
  We'll never hear it when it snaps."

  Of course the workman couldn't see
  The mangled car beneath the tree,
  The dead man, and the tortured wife
  Doomed to a cripple's chair for life--
  His chief concern was getting by
  The stern inspector's eager eye.

  Perhaps he whistles on his way
  Into the factory to-day
  And doesn't know the ruin wrought
  By just one minute's careless thought.
  Yet human life is held at stake
  By nearly all that toilers make.



  _The Tender Blossoms_

  "I will gather some flowers for our friend," she said,
    So into the garden with her I went
  And stood for awhile at the rose's bed
    As she stooped to her labor of sentiment.

  "Why not the full blown blossom there?
    Why do you leave it and pass it by?"
  Those were the questions I asked of her.
    And she answered me: "It is soon to die."

  "Here is a withered and blasted rose,
    Better without it the plant would be;
  Cut it and mingle it now with those
    You are taking away for your friend to see."

  "Here is a peony stained and torn,
    Take it and cling to your choicest bloom."
  But she answered me with a look of scorn:
    "These flowers are to brighten a sick friend's room."

  "Only the tenderest bud I'll take.
    Never the withered and worn and old;
  Of my fairest flowers is the gift I make
    By which my love for my friend is told."

  "So, when the angels call," said I,
    "And fold in their arms a little child,
  Passing the old and the broken by,
    Think of this and be reconciled.

  "Always the tenderest buds they take,
    Pure and lovely and undefiled.
  When a gift of love unto God they'd make,
    Always they come for a little child."



  _Questioning_

  You shall wonder as you meet
  Drunkards reeling down the street,
  Helpless cripples and the blind,
  Human wrecks of every kind
  Living on from day to day,
  Why your loved one couldn't stay.

  These are thoughts which always come
  When the heart with grief is numb.
  "Why," the anguished mother cries,
  With the tears still in her eyes,
  "Must my baby go away
  And some sinful creature stay?"

  Thus, rebellious in your grief,
  You may falter in belief
  And your blinded eyes will see
  No just cause why this should be;
  But the passing years will show
  Wisely was it ordered so.

  Hold your faith and bear the pain--
  Questioning your God is vain.
  None of us has power to know
  Who should stay and who should go.
  Hold this everlasting truth--
  Heaven has need of lovely youth.

  Think of this when you are tried:
  If the wretched only died,
  Then would death to us be sent
  Always as a punishment?
  But the passing from the earth
  Is more beautiful than birth.



  _The Choir Boy_

  They put his spotless surplice on
    And tied his flowing tie,
  And he was fair to look upon
    As he went singing by.
  He sang the hymns with gentle grace,
    That little lad of nine,
  For there was something in his face
    Which seemed almost divine.

  His downcast eye was good to see,
    His brow was smooth and fair,
  And no one dreamed that there could be
    A rascal plotting there;
  Yet when all heads in prayer were bowed,
    God's gracious care to beg,
  The boy next to him cried aloud:
    "Quit pinching o' my leg!"

  A pious little child he seemed,
    An angel born to sing;
  Beholding him, none ever dreamed
    He'd do a naughty thing;
  Yet many a sudden "ouch!" proclaimed
    That he had smuggled in
  For mischief-making, unashamed,
    A most disturbing pin.

  And yet, I think, from high above,
    The Father looking down,
  Knows everything he's thinking of
    And smiles when mortals frown,
  For in the spotless surplice white
    Which is his mother's joy,
  He knows he's not an angel bright,
    But just a healthy boy.



  _The Lay of the Troubled Golfer_

  His eye was wild and his face was taut with
      anger and hate and rage,
  And the things he muttered were much too strong
      for the ink of the printed page.
  I found him there when the dusk came down, in
      his golf clothes still was he,
  And his clubs were strewn around his feet as he
      told his grief to me:
  "I'd an easy five for a seventy-nine--in sight
      of the golden goal--
  An easy five and I took an eight--an eight on
      the eighteenth hole!

  "I've dreamed my dreams of the 'seventy men,'
      and I've worked year after year,
  I have vowed I would stand with the chosen few
      ere the end of my golf career;
  I've cherished the thought of a seventy score, and
      the days have come and gone
  And I've never been close to the golden goal my
      heart was set upon.
  But today I stood on the eighteenth tee and
      counted that score of mine,
  And my pulses raced with the thrill of joy--I'd
      a five for a seventy-nine!

  "I can kick the ball from the eighteenth tee and
      get this hole in five,
  But I took the wood and I tried to cross that
      ditch with a mighty drive--"
  Let us end the quotes, it is best for all to imagine
      his language rich,
  But he topped that ball, as we often do, and the
      pill stopped in the ditch.
  His third was short and his fourth was bad and
      his fifth was off the line,
  And he took an eight on the eighteenth hole with
      a five for a seventy-nine.

  I gathered his clubs and I took his arm and alone
      in the locker room
  I left him sitting upon the bench, a picture of
      grief and gloom;
  And the last man came and took his shower and
      hurried upon his way,
  But still he sat with his head bowed down like
      one with a mind astray,
  And he counted his score card o'er and o'er and
      muttered this doleful whine:
  "I took an eight on the eighteenth hole, with a
      five for a seventy-nine!"



  _Peter and Paul_

  Peter's the fellow I go to whenever Paul
      presses his claim.
  Peter is easy to deal with, Peter's not
      ready with blame;
  Paul has a way of insisting I shall be true
      to my word,
  And hints of a final accounting whenever a
      debt is incurred.

  Peter is pleasant and smiling and ready to
      lend when he can;
  Paul offers counsel and caution and talks
      of the ways of a man,
  And whenever Paul's debts must be settled
      and I must return what I owe
  And haven't the money I promised, to borrow
      from Peter I go.

  But the more that I think about Peter, the
      greater my fancy for Paul,
  I know he'd be first to defend me if ever
      disaster should fall,
  For Peter thinks only of money and smilingly
      reckons his fee,
  While Paul, when he whispers of caution, thinks
      not of himself but of me.

  Paul would defend me from trouble, would shield
      and protect my renown,
  But Peter would add to my burdens and smilingly
      let me go down.
  Yes, Peter the pleasant would wreck me, and
      gloat when I rode to my fall,
  So the more that I learn about Peter, the
      greater my fondness for Paul.



  _Life's Equipment_

  "Here's how I figure it out," says he,
  "With my ears to hear and my eyes to see,
  And my legs to walk and my hands to work,
  And a head to bow and a cap to jerk
  Whenever a woman I know goes by--
  It's well-equipped for this life, am I.

  "Kings and princes and high and low
  Have noses to smell when the blossoms blow.
  And eyes to see, but I don't suppose
  A king smells more with his royal nose
  Or sees more charm with his kingly eye
  In the pink of the orchard blooms, than I.

  "But eyes and ears and legs and hands
  Don't always follow the same commands,
  And some find beauty in dollar bills,
  And some in the streams and the misty hills;
  Some people hear nothing but mortal words,
  And some are tuned to the songs of birds.

  "Some grapple with facts that are stiff and cold,
  And some see visions all tipped with gold;
  Some hands are tender and others rough,
  And some are gentle and some are gruff;
  But each must follow life's pathway through,
  Doing the things which he likes to do.

  "Now I find joy when I tramp about,
  Up hill and down, for my legs are stout
  And my ears and eyes can pick up things
  That are maybe lost to the wisest kings;
  And I'm always grateful, when day is through,
  That I'm built for the things which I like to do."



  _A Fairy Story_

  Sit here on my knee, little girl, and I'll tell
    A story to you
    Of a fairy I knew
  Who lived in a garden when I was a child.
  She was lovely to see and whenever she smiled
  The sunbeams came dancing around just to know
  Whatever it was that was pleasing her so.

  She lived in a poppy and used to peek out
    And shout: "Oh, Yoo-hoo!
    I've been waiting for you!"
  And then I'd go over to her house and play
  And she'd saddle a bee and we'd both ride away,
  Or sometimes we'd take a most wonderful trip
  With the sky for the sea and a cloud for our ship.

  Oft my father and mother would look out and say:
    "The glad little elf
    Plays there all by himself,
  And he comes in and tells us of things he has seen
  And the marvelous places to which he has been;
  He tells us of dining with princes and kings--
  It's a curious boy who can think up such things."

  Now this all occurred in the long years ago,
    And the fairy has fled,
    And the poppies are dead,
  And never again may I ride on a bee,
  Or sail on a cloud with the sky for the sea.
  But that fairy has promised, when poppies are fair,
  To come back again and to wait for you there.

  Yes, you can go out when the skies are all blue
    And see what I've seen,
    And go where I've been.
  You can have fairies to lead you away,
  To show you strange sights and to share in your play;
  And the grown-ups may say that your fancies are wild,
  But fairies are real to an innocent child.



  Shoes

  I'll tell you it's a problem, when a youngster's
      nine years old,
  To keep his feet in leather and to keep him heeled
and soled;
  Just about the time I fancy I've some money I can use,
  His mother comes and tells me that he needs a
      pair of shoes.

  Now I can wear a pair of shoes for several months
      or more,
  But Bud, it seems, is working for the man who
      keeps the store,
  And the rascal seems to fancy that his duty
      is to show
  How fast a healthy, rugged boy can wreck a
      leather toe.

  But shoes are made for romping in, for climbing
      and for fun,
  For kicking bricks and empty cans, and I am not
      the one
  To make him walk sedately in the way that
      grown-ups do--
  There's time enough for that, I say, when all
      his boyhood's through.

  So let him wreck them, heels and toes, and scuff
      their soles away,
  I'll not begrudge the bill for shoes that I'm
      compelled to pay,
  For I rejoice that it's my lot, when mother breaks
      the news,
  To have a healthy, roguish boy who's always
      needing shoes.



  _Football_

  I'd rather fancied it would come, a healthy boy
      who's ten years old
  Forecasts the things he'll want to do without his
      secrets being told;
  And so last night when I got home and found his
      mother strangely still,
  I guessed somehow that mother love had battled
      with a youngster's will.
  "You'll have to settle it," said she; "there's
      nothing more that I can say,
  The game of football's calling him and he insists
      he wants to play."

  We've talked it over many a time; we've hoped he
      wouldn't choose the game,
  And I suppose there's not a boy whose parents do
      not feel the same.
  They dread, as we, the rugged sport; they wonder,
      too, just what they'll say
  When son of theirs comes home, as ours, and begs
      to be allowed to play.
  And now the question's up to me, a question that
      I can't evade,
  But football is a manly game and I am glad he's
      not afraid.

  He wants to play, he says to me; he knows the game
      is rough and grim,
  But worse than hurt and broken bones is what his
      friends will think of him;
  "They'd call me yellow," he explained, "if I stay
      out."  Of all things here
  There's nothing quite so hard to bear as is the
      heartless gibe or jeer,
  And though I cannot spare him pain or hurt when
      tackles knock him flat,
  Being his father, I've said "yes," because I choose
      to spare him that.



  _She Never Gave Me a Chance_

  It happened that I came along as school was letting out
  And laughing boys and smiling girls raced everywhere about;
  But two there were who walked along the road in front of me
  And one young head was bowed to earth, a troubled lad was he;
  And as I stepped around the pair to hasten on my way:
  "She never gave a chance to me!" I heard the youngster say.

  Oh, I have been a boy myself, and I have been to school
  And I have suffered punishment for breaking many a rule;
  I've worn the brand of mischief and been written down as bad,
  So I could reconstruct the scene--the teacher and the lad,
  The swift avenging punishment, the stern and angry glance,
  The blot of shame upon a boy sent home without a chance.

  I did not stop to ask the lad his little tale to tell,
  There was no need of that because I knew the story well--
  "She never gave a chance to me!" that sentence held it all.
  A hundred times I'd lived the scene in days when I was small,
  A broken rule, a teacher vexed, hot rage where calm belonged,
  A guilty judgment blindly made--a youngster sadly wronged.

  I still can see that little chap upon his homeward way,
  "She never gave a chance to me," I still can hear him say,
  And so I write this verse for him, and all the girls and boys
  Who shall their tutors now and then disturb with needless noise.
  Be fair, you teachers of our land, in every circumstance;
  Don't let some little fellow say he never had a chance.



  _Down the Lanes of August_

  Down the lanes of August--and the bees upon the wing--
  All the world's in color now, and all the song birds sing;
  Never reds will redder be, more golden be the gold,
  Down the lanes of August, and the summer getting old.

  Mother Nature's brushes now with paints are dripping wet,
  Gorgeous is her canvas with the tints we can't forget;
  Here's a yellow wheat field--purple asters there--
  Riotous the colors that she's splashing everywhere.

  Red the cheeks of apples and pink the peaches' bloom,
  Redolent the breezes with the sweetness of perfume;
  Everything is beauty, crowned by skies of clearest blue;
  Mother Earth is at her best once more for me and you.

  Down the lanes of August, with her blossoms at our feet,
  Rich with gold and scarlet, dripping wet with honey sweet.
  Rich or poor, no matter, here are splendors spread--
  Down the lanes of August, for all who wish to tread.



  _Arcady_

  Where is the road to Arcady,
    Where is the path that leads to peace,
  Where shall I find the bliss to be,
    Where shall the weary wanderings cease?
  These are the questions that come to me--
  Where is the road to Arcady?

  Is there a mystic time and place
    To which some day shall the traveler fare,
  Where there is never a frowning face
    And never a burden hard to bear,
  Where we as children shall romp and race?
  Is there a mystic time and place?

  For Arcady is an earthly sphere,
    Where only the gentlest breezes blow,
  A port of rest for the weary here,
    Where the velvet grass and the clover grow.
  I question it oft, is it far or near?
  For Arcady is an earthly sphere.

  And the answer comes--it is very near,
    It's there at the end of a little street,
  Where your children's voices are ringing clear
    And you catch the patter of little feet.
  Where is the spot that is never drear?
  And the answer comes--it is very near.

  For each man buildeth his Arcady,
    And each man fashions his Port of Rest;
  And never shall earth spot brighter be
    Than the little home that with peace is blessed.
  So seek it not o'er the land and sea--
  For each man buildeth his Arcady.



  _Sacrifices_

  Behind full many a gift there lies
  A splendid tale of sacrifice.

  On Christmas morn a mother's hand
    About a young girl's neck will place
  A trinket small, and she will stand
    With radiant smiles upon her face
  To see her daughter decked in gold--
    Nor will she think, nor will she care
  That she may suffer from the cold
    Because that bauble glistens there.

  A child will wake on Christmas day
    And find his stocking filled with toys;
  The home will ring with laughter gay--
    That boy be glad as richer boys.
  And there a mother fond will sing
    A song of joy to hear his shout--
  Forgetting every needed thing
    That she will have to do without.

  A heart that's brimming o'er with love
    Will suffer gladly for a friend,
  And take no time in thinking of
    How much it can afford to spend.
  And suddenly on Christmas morn
    Will gladness beam from shining eyes--
  A gladness that alone was born
    Of someone's willing sacrifice.

  Let cynics scoff howe'er they will
    And say but fools such presents give,
  There'll be such sacrifices till
    All human love shall cease to live.
  'Twould be a dreary world of thrift,
    Of barren ways, and sunless skies,
  If no one ever gave a gift
    That was not born of sacrifice.

  The brightest gifts that us reward
  Are those the givers can't afford.



  _The Callers_

  Who's dat knockin' at de do',
    Who's dat callin' here ter-day?
  What yo' want to see me fo'?
    Tell me what yo' got to say.
  What yo' name an' what yo' mean,
    Standin' out there in de gloam?
  Trouble, waitin' to come in?
    No sir, no sir, I ain't home!

  Who's dat ringin' of de bell,
    Wakin' me in dead of night,
  When Ah was a-sleepin' well,
    Rousin' me wid such a fright?
  What yo' name and what yo' hurry?
    Seems to me yo're actin' queer.
  What's dat?  Yo' is Mister Worry?
    No sir, no sir, I ain't here!

  Who's dat waitin' at my do'?
    What yo' want a-hangin' round?
  Ain't yo' nebber gwine ter go?
    Jes' yo' quit dat knockin' sound.
  Tell me now jes' what yo' meant
    Callin' out my name dat way.
  What's dat?  Yo' is Discontent?
    No sir, I ain't home ter-day!

  Mornin'!  Howdy, Mister Smile!
    Mornin' Sunshine, how yo' do?
  Ah'se been waitin' all de while
    Jes' ter get a call from you.
  Walk right in an' take a seat,
    Where's yo' brudder, Joy, ter-day?
  Jes' a-comin' down de street?
    Enter!  Here's de place ter stay.



  _Giuseppe Tomassi_

  Giuseppe Tomassi ees stylisha chap,
    He wear da white collar an' cuff;
  He says: "For expanse I no giva da rap,
    Da basta ees not good enough."
  When out weeth hees Rosa he wear da silk hat,
    An' carry da cane lik' da lord;
  He spenda hees money lik' dees, an' lik' dat,
    For Giuseppe, he work at da Ford.

  He smoke da seegar with da beega da band,
    Da tree-for-da-quart' ees da kind;
  Da diamond dat flash from da back of hees hand
    Ees da beegest Giuseppe could find.
  He dress up hees Rosa in satin an' lace,
    She no longer scrub at da board,
  But putta da paint on de leeps an' da face,
    For Giuseppe, he work at da Ford.

  Giuseppe, ees strutta about lik' da king,
    An' laugh at da hard-worka man
  Who grinda da org' a few neekels to bring,
    Or sella da ripa banan'.
  Each morning he waxa da blacka moustache,
    Then walk up an' down through da ward;
  You betta he gotta da playnta da cash,
    For Giuseppe, he work at da Ford.



  _Battle of Belleau Wood_

This poem was chosen by Major General John A. Lejeune, Commandant of
the United States Marine Corps, as his favorite of all the Marine Corps
verse written during the war.


  It was thick with Prussian troopers, it was foul
      with German guns;
  Every tree that cast a shadow was a sheltering
      place for Huns.
  Death was guarding every roadway, death was watching
      every field,
  And behind each rise of terrain was a rapid-fire concealed;
  Uncle Sam's Marines had orders: "Drive the Boche
      from where they're hid.
  For the honor of Old Glory, take the woods!"  And
      so they did.

  I fancy none will tell it as the story should
      be told--
  None will ever do full justice to those Yankee
      troopers bold--
  How they crawled upon their stomachs through the
      fields of golden wheat,
  With the bullets spitting at them in that awful
      battle heat.
  It's a tale too big for writing; it's beyond the
      voice or pen,
  But it glows among the splendor of the bravest
      deeds of men.

  It's recorded as a battle, but I fancy it will live
  As the brightest gem of courage human struggles have
      to give.
  Inch by inch, they crawled to victory toward the flaming
      mouths of guns;
  Inch by inch, they crawled to grapple with the
      barricaded Huns;
  On through fields that death was sweeping with a murderous
      fire, they went
  Till the Teuton line was vanquished and the German
      strength was spent.

  Ebbed and flowed the tides of battle, as they've seldom
      done before;
  Slowly, surely, moved the Yankees against all the
      odds of war.
  For the honor of the fallen, for the glory of the dead,
  The living line of courage kept the faith and moved ahead.
  They'd been ordered not to falter, and when night
      came on they stood
  With Old Glory proudly flying o'er the trees of
      Belleau Wood.



  _Partridge Time_

  When Pa came home last night he had a package in his hand;
  "Now, Ma," said he, "I've something here which you will
      say is grand.
  A friend of mine got home to-day from hunting in the woods,
  He's been away a week or two, and got back with the goods.
  He had a corking string of birds--I wish you could
      have seen 'em!"
  "If you've brought any partridge home," said Ma, "you'll
      have to clean 'em."

  "Now listen, Ma," said Pa to her, "these birds are mighty rare.
  I know a lot of men who'd pay a heap to get a pair.
  But it's against the law to sell this splendid sort of game,
  And if you bought 'em you would have to use a different name.
  It isn't every couple has a pair to eat between 'em."
  "If you got any partridge there," says Ma, "you'll
      have to clean 'em."

  "Whenever kings want something fine, it's partridge
      that they eat,
  And millionaires prefer 'em, too, to any sort of meat.
  About us everywhere to-night are folks who'd think it fine
  If on a brace of partridge they could just sit down to dine.
  They've got a turkey skinned to death, they're sweeter
      than a chicken."
  "If that's what you've brought home," says Ma, "you'll
      have to do the pickin'."

  And then Pa took the paper off and showed Ma what he had.
  "There, look at those two beauties!  Don't they start
      you feelin' glad?
  An' ain't your mouth a-waterin' to think how fine they'll be
  When you've cooked 'em up for dinner, one for you an'
      one for me?"
  But Ma just turned her nose up high, an' said, when she
      had seen 'em,
  "You'll never live to eat 'em if you wait for me to clean 'em."



  _The Making of a Friend_

  We nodded as we passed each day
    And smiled and went along our way;
  I knew his name, and he knew mine,
    But neither of us made a sign
  That we possessed a common tie;
    We barely spoke as we passed by.

  How fine he was I never guessed.
    The splendid soul within his breast
  I never saw.  From me were hid
    The many kindly deeds he did.
  His gentle ways I didn't know,
    Or I'd have claimed him long ago.

  Then trouble came to me one day,
    And he was first to come and say
  The cheering words I longed to hear.
    He offered help, and standing near
  I felt our lives in sorrow blend--
    My neighbor had become my friend.

  How many smiles from day to day
    I've missed along my narrow way;
  How many kindly words I've lost,
    What joy has my indifference cost?
  This glorious friend that now I know,
    Would have been friendly years ago.



  _Stick to It_

  Stick to it, boy,
    Through the thick and the thin of it!
  Work for the joy
    That is born of the din of it.
  Failures beset you,
  But don't let them fret you;
  Dangers are lurking,
  But just keep on working.
  If it's worth while and you're sure of the right of it,
  Stick to it, boy, and make a real fight of it!

  Stick to it, lad,
    Be not frail and afraid of it;
  Stand to the gad
    For the man to be made of it.
  Deaf to the sneering
  And blind to the jeering,
  Willing to master
  The present disaster,
  Stick to it, lad, through the trial and test of it,
  Patience and courage will give you the best of it.

  Stick to it, youth,
    Be not sudden to fly from it;
  This is the truth,
    Triumph may not far lie from it
  Dark is the morning
  Before the sun's dawning,
  Battered and sore of it
  Bear a bit more of it,
  Stick to it, even though blacker than ink it is,
  Victory's nearer, perhaps, than you think it is!



  _Proud Father_

  There's a smile on the face of the mother to-day,
  The furrows of pain have been scattered away,
  Her eyes tell a story of wondrous delight
  As she looks at the baby who came through the night.
  It's plain she's as happy and proud as can be,
    But you ought to see me!

  The nurse wears her cap in its jauntiest style,
  And she says: "Oh, my dear, there's a baby worth while!
  She's the pink of perfection, as sweet as a rose,
  And I never have seen such a cute little nose."
  Were it proper for nurses she'd dance in her glee,
    But you ought to see me!

  Bud's eyes are ablaze with the glory of joy,
  And he has forgotten he'd asked for a boy.
  He stands by her crib and he touches her cheek
  And would bring all the kids on the street for a peek.
  Oh, the pride in his bearing is something to see,
    But you ought to see me!

  You may guess that the heart of the mother is glad,
  But for arrogant happiness gaze on the dad.
  For the marvelous strut and the swagger of pride,
  For the pomp of conceit and the smile satisfied,
  For joy that's expressed in the highest degree,
    Take a good look at me!



  _The Mortgage and the Man_

  This is the tale of a mortgage and a dead man and his son,
  A father who left to his only child a duty that must
      be done.
  And the neighbors said as they gathered round in the
      neighbor's curious way:
  "Too bad, too bad that he left his boy so heavy a
      debt to pay."

  Day by day through the years that came, the mortgage
      held him fast--
  Straight and true to his task he went, and he paid
      the debt at last;
  And his arm grew strong and his eye kept bright, and
      although he never knew,
  The thing that fashioned a man of him was the task he
      had to do.

  Honor and fortune crowned his brow till the day he
      came to die,
  But he said: "My boy shall never work against such
      odds as I.
  I have planned his years, I have made them safe,
      I have paid his journey through."
  And the boy looked out on a world wherein there was
      nothing for him to do.

  His hands grew soft and his eyes went dull and his cheeks
      turned ashy pale,
  For strength which isn't employed by day, with idleness
      grows stale.
  "He is not the man that his father was," the neighbors
      often said,
  "And better for him had he been left to work for his meat
      and bread."

  Oh, the race dies out and the clan departs, and feeble
      grows the son
  When they come at last to the dreadful day when all of
      the work is done.
  For manhood dies on the roads of ease where the skies
      are ever blue,
  And each of us needs, if we shall grow strong, some
      difficult thing to do.



  _The Training of Jimmy McBride_

  Jimmy McBride was a common sense lad,
  The son of a common sense mother and dad
  Who had borne him and bred him to labor.
  He'd been taught what a common sense lad understands,
  That the Lord in His wisdom had given him hands
  For handling a pick or a sabre.

  "Your feet are for walking," his father once said,
  "To see with, God gave you two eyes in your head,
  And your mouth is for eating and drinking;
  And that you'll remember I'm making it plain,
  You've also been given what men call a brain,
  And the brain is put in there for thinking.

  "Now you've all the equipment the greatest possess,
  And some men have risen to glory with less,
  So don't be afraid, but go to it;
  If it's honest, and useful, and ought to be done,
  Don't think it beneath you, but jump in, my son--
  Go straight to your duty and do it."

  When Jimmy came home with the dirt on his face
  They never once said: "It's a shame and disgrace!
  Poor boy, you are worn out and weary!"
  No pity for Jimmy his labors inspired.
  His old father said: "It is sweet to be tired,
  It makes the home-coming so cheery."

  His old mother said with the pride in her eye,
  "There's nothing like work to put flavor in pie.
  Come in and sit down to your dinner."
  And they said to themselves when he'd gone to his bed,
  "He's earning his way and he's forging ahead--
  Our Jimmy McBride is a winner."

  And when their old age came upon them at last,
  No touch of regret stole the joy from the past,
  Nor envy of happier neighbor.
  And they thanked the good Lord who had sent them their Jim
  That they'd had the wisdom in dealing with him
  To teach him the value of labor.



  _The Scoutmaster_

  There isn't any pay for you, you serve without reward;
  The boys who tramp the fields with you but little
      could afford;
  And yet your pay is richer far than men who toil for gold,
  For in a dozen different ways your service shall be told.

  You'll read it in the faces of a troop of growing boys,
  You'll read it in the pleasure of a dozen manly joys;
  And down the distant future--you will surely read it then,
  Emblazoned through the service of a band of loyal men.

  Five years of willing labor and of brothering a troop;
  Five years of trudging highways, with the Indian cry
      and whoop;
  Five years of camp fires burning, not alone for
      pleasure's sake,
  But the future generation which these boys are soon
      to make.

  They have no gold to give you, but when age comes on
      to you
  They'll give you back the splendid things you taught
      them how to do;
  They'll give you rich contentment and a thrill of
      honest pride
  And you'll see your nation prosper, and you'll all
      be satisfied.



  _The Way of a Wife_

  She wasn't hungry, so she said.  A salad and a cup of tea
  Was all she felt that she could eat, but it was different
      with me.
  "I'm rather hungry," I replied: "if you don't mind, I think
      I'll take
  Some oysters to begin with and a good old-fashioned
      sirloin steak."

  Now wives are curious in this; to make the statement blunt
      and straight,
  There's nothing tempts their appetites like food upon
      another's plate;
  And when those oysters six appeared she looked at them
      and said to me,
  "Just let me try one, will you, dear?" and right away she
      swallowed three.

  On came the steak, and promptly she exclaimed: "Oh my,
      that looks so good!
  I think I'd like a bit of it."  The game is one I understood.
  I cut her off a healthy piece and never whimpered when
      she said:
  "Now just a few potatoes, dear, and also let me share
      your bread."

  She wasn't hungry!  She'd refused the food I had been
      glad to buy,
  But on the meal which came for me, I know she turned
      a hungry eye.
  She never cares for much to eat, she's dainty in her
      choice, I'll state,
  But she gets ravenous enough to eat whatever's on my plate.



  _Beneath the Dirt_

  He'd been delivering a load of coal, and a
      five-ton truck he steered;
  He wasn't a pretty sight to see with his four
      days' growth of beard.
  His clothes were such as a coal man wears, and
      the fine folks passing by
  Would have scorned the touch of his dirty hands
      and the look in his weary eye.

  He rattled and banged along the road, sick of his
      job, no doubt,
  When in front of his truck, from a hidden spot,
      a dog and a child dashed out
  And he couldn't stop, so he made one leap from
      the height of his driver's seat
  And he caught the child with those dirty hands
      and swept her from the street.

  Over his legs went the heavy wheels, and they
      picked him up for dead,
  And the rich man's wife placed her sable coat
      as a pillow for his head.
  And black as he was, the rich man said: "He
      shall travel home with me."
  And he sat by his side in the limousine and was
      proud of his company.

  You may walk in pride in your garments fine,
      you may judge by the things of show,
  But what's deep in the breast of the man you
      scorn is something you cannot know.
  And you'd kiss the hand of the dirtiest man that
      ever the world has known
  If to save the life of the child you love, he had
      bravely risked his own.



  _The Out-Doors Man_

  He must come back a better man,
  Beneath the summer bronze and tan,
  Who turns his back on city strife
  To neighbor with the trees;
  He must be stronger for the fight
  And see with clearer eye the right,
  Who fares beneath the open sky
  And welcomes every breeze.

  The man who loves all living things
  Enough to go where Nature flings
  Her glories everywhere about,
  And dwell with them awhile,
  Must be, when he comes back once more,
  A little better than before,
  A little surer of his faith
  And readier to smile.

  He never can be wholly bad
  Who seeks the sunshine and is glad
  To hear a songbird's melody
  Or wade a laughing stream;
  Nor worse than when he went away
  Will he return at close of day
  Who's chummed with happy birds and trees,
  And taken time to dream.



  _A Book and a Pipe_

  Give me a book and my cozy chair and a pipe
      of old perique
  And the wind may howl and I shall not care
      that the night is cold and bleak,
  For I'll follow my friend of the printed page
      wherever he leads me on,
  I'll follow him back to a vanished age and the
      joys of a life that's gone.

  I'll stand with him on a brigantine with the
      salt wind in my face,
  I'll hear him shout when the whale is seen and
      share in the stirring chase,
  And I'll hear him say as the gulls fly by and
      round us overhead:
  "Every bird up there with its ghastly cry is the
      soul of a sailor dead."

  I'll go with him where the pole star gleams and
      the arctic nights are long,
  I'll go with him to his land of dreams away from
      the surging throng,
  I'll stand with him on the battle line where the
      sky with flame turns red,
  I'll follow this faithful friend of mine wherever
      he wants to tread.

  Oh, whether it be adventure grim or the calm of
      a noble mind,
  Or a sea to sail and a ship to trim or a pearl of
      truth to find,
  Grant me an hour in my easy chair and a pipe
      full of old perique
  And there's ever a friendly book up there that
      can furnish the joy I seek.



  _The Time I Played with Vardon_

  The time I played with Vardon, I was surely on my game,
  The gallery was greeting every shot with loud acclaim.
  I was driving right with Harry, and was getting home in two,
  And every trick that Vardon tried, I showed that I could do;
  I had the Briton worried--I could tell it from his look,
  For I was doing everything he'd printed in his book.

  I'd held him level several holes, and then the crowd began,
  In a fever of excitement, to applaud me to a man;
  Men were whispering together, "Eddie's surely right today--
  He is just as good as Vardon!  Oh, it's great to watch him play!"
  Then Vardon tried a long one, but his ball just missed the cup,
  And I dropped my twenty-footer for a birdie and was up!

  Nip-and-tuck out there we battled, and I ventured soon to guess
  If I could keep it going, I'd make Mr. Vardon press;
  He was very nice about it, but when I'd got home in two
  I noticed he was lunging like I often used to do.
  Then he dubbed a shot completely, when I'd played a perfect cleek,
  And I whispered to my caddie: "Vardon sometimes takes a peek!"

  I was just one up on Vardon on the good old eighteenth tee,
  And a half was all I needed for my greatest victory.
  I was confident of winning--calm and cool about it, too;
  I wasn't going to falter, for I knew what I could do.
  I looked the distance over, then I made a perfect stroke--
  But just then the missus shook me, and confound it!  I awoke!



  _Teach Them of the Flag_

  Teach the children of the Flag,
    Let them know the joy it holds
    In its sun-kissed rippling folds;
  Don't let patriotism lag:
    Train them so that they will love
    Every star and stripe above.

  As you teach their lips to pray,
    Teach them always to be true
    To the red, the white and blue;
  Praise the Flag from day to day,
    Tell the children at your knee
    All the joys of liberty.

  Let them know and understand
    How the Flag was born and why;
    Tell how brave men went to die
  Gladly for their native land;
    Whisper to them that they must
    Make the Flag their sacred trust.

  Love of country ever starts
    In the home and at your knee;
    There the Flag shall come to be
  Shrined in patriotic hearts;
    They shall gladly serve their land
    When they know and understand.



  _Being Brave at Night_

  The other night 'bout two o'clock, or maybe it was three,
  An elephant with shining tusks came chasing after me.
  His trunk was wavin' in the air an' spoutin' jets of steam
  An' he was out to eat me up, but still I didn't scream
  Or let him see that I was scared--a better thought I had,
  I just escaped from where I was and crawled in bed with dad.

  One time there was a giant who was horrible to see,
  He had three heads and twenty arms, an' he come after me
  And red hot fire came from his mouths and every hand was red
  And he declared he'd grind my bones and make them into bread.
  But I was just too smart for him, I fooled him mighty bad,
  Before his hands could collar me I crawled in bed with dad.

  I ain't scared of nothing that comes pesterin' me at night.
  Once I was chased by forty ghosts all shimmery an' white,
  An' I just raced 'em round the room an' let 'em think maybe
  I'd have to stop an' rest awhile, when they could capture me.
  Then when they leapt onto my bed, Oh Gee! but they were mad
  To find that I had slipped away an' crawled in bed with dad.

  No giants, ghosts or elephants have dared to come in there
  'Coz if they did he'd beat 'em up and chase 'em to their lair.
  They just hang 'round the children's rooms an' snap an' snarl
      an' bite
  An' laugh if they can make 'em yell for help with all their
      might,
  But I don't ever yell out loud.  I'm not that sort of lad,
  I slip from out the covers and I crawl in bed with dad.



  _A Cup of Tea_

  Nellie made a cup of tea,
  Made and poured it out for me,
  And above the steaming brew
  Smiled and asked me: "One or two?"
  Saucily she tossed her head,
  "Make it sweet for me," I said.

  Two sweet lumps of sugar fell
  Into that small china well,
  But I knew the while I drained
  Every drop the cup contained,
  More than sugar in the tea
  Made the beverage sweet for me.

  This to her I tried to say
  In that golden yesterday--
  Life is like a cup of tea
  Which Time poureth endlessly,
  Brewed by trial's constant heat,
  Needing love to make it sweet.

  Then I caught her looking up,
  And I held my dainty cup
  Out to her and bravely said:
  "Here is all that lies ahead,
  Here is all my life to be--
  Will you make it sweet for me?"

  That was years ago, and now
  There is silver in her brow;
  We have sorrowed, we have smiled,
  We've been hurt and reconciled--
  But whatever had to be,
  She has made it sweet for me.



  _The Inspiration of the Past_

  When melancholy rides the sky and fills
    The distance with her dust of gloom and doubt,
    And from despair there seems no gateway out;
  When the cold blast of disappointment chills
  The green young buds of hope and the once rosy hills
    Stand gaunt, forbidding battlements, too stout
  For faltering strength to master, ere it kills
    Faith in high purpose, turn your face about.

  Search the great past, the ages that have gone;
    Pause and reflect by some remembered grave;
  At Valley Forge once more with Washington,
    Learn what it means to suffer and be brave.
  Or stand with patient Lincoln and believe
    That what is right, its purpose shall achieve.



  _The Waiter_

  I met him in a college town, a youngster with a grin,
  And he was sweeping up the floor when I was ushered in.
  When I had registered my name, he put aside his broom
  To grab my suitcase from the floor and show me to my room.

  That night at dinner I beheld that youngster at my side,
  "We've pork and lamb," said he to me, "potatoes, baked or fried."
  When I had made my choice of food, he gayly went away
  And when he next appeared he had my dinner on a tray.

  "So you're a waiter too?" said I.  He chuckled soft and low:
  "Three times a day it is my job the dishes round to throw.
  I'm bell hop in the afternoons, between times I'm the clerk,
  But I can get my lessons when I've finished up my work.

  "I'm on my way through college, and I'm paying for it here,
  Some day I'll chuck this job and be a civil engineer.
  I want an education, and the only way I had
  Was to come and be a waiter, for I haven't any dad."

  I don't know how to say it, but some day I know I'll hear,
  If I still am with the living, of a civil engineer
  Who has earned his way to glory, and I'll smile at his renown
  And say: "There stands the waiter of that little college town."



  _A Man Must Want_

  It's wanting keeps us young and fit.
    It's wanting something just ahead
  And striving hard to come to it,
    That brightens every road we tread.

  That man is old before his time
    Who is supremely satisfied
  And does not want some hill to climb
    Or something life has still denied.

  The want of poverty is grim,
    It has a harsh and cruel sting,
  But fill the cup up to the brim,
    And that's a far more hopeless thing.

  A man must want from day to day,
    Must want to reach a distant goal
  Or claim some treasure far away,
    For want's the builder of the soul.

  He who has ceased to want has dropped
    The working tools of life and stands
  Much like an old-time clock that's stopped
    While Time is mouldering his hands.

  I'm truly sorry for the man,
    Though he be millionaire or king,
  Who does not hold some cherished plan
    And says he does not want a thing.

  Want is the spur that drives us on
    And oft its praises should be sung,
  For man is old when want is gone--
    It's what we want that keeps us young.



  _Abe Lincoln_

  Bill and Jim drove into town on a pleasant summer day,
  Puffed their pipes and talked of things in a friendly
      sort of way,
  Talked of crops and politics, neighbors and the price
      of nails,
  Then, as they were jogging on, passed a fellow
      splitting rails.
  "Who's that yonder, Bill?" says Jim, "I don't seem to
      know his face."
  "That's Abe Lincoln," answered Bill--"got a shabby
      sort of place."

  Lawsuit going on one day, Bill and Jim had time to spare,
  Dropped into the court awhile, found most all their
      neighbors there.
  "Moonlight night," one witness said--prisoner's chances
      mighty small,
  Till his lawyer rose and proved there wasn't any
      moon at all.
  "Who's defending him?" says Jim, "rather clever,
      I should say."
  "That's Abe Lincoln," answered Bill, "homely as a
      bale of hay."

  Politics was getting hot, meetings almost every night,
  Orators from north and south talking loudly for the right.
  Bill and Jim were always there cheering for their party's
      cause,
  Then one time a chap got up talking morals more than laws.
  "Who's that speaking now?" says Jim, "think I've seen
      his face before."
  "That's Abe Lincoln," answered Bill, "shall we go or
      hear some more?"

  Moral of it isn't much, greatness may be round about,
  But when seen from day to day men are slow to find
      it out.
  Those who saw him splitting rails, those who heard
      him plead a case
  Passed him by with little thought, laughing at his
      homely face.
  Those who neighbored with the boy, those who saw
      his summer tan,
  Those who lived in Lincoln's time never really
      knew the man.



  _The Mushroom Expert_

  Bill is a mushroom expert, and Bill is a friend of mine,
  He has studied the amanita and all its ancestral line;
  He goes to the fields each autumn to harvest a dinner treat
  For he knows which are deadly fungi, and which are the ones
      to eat.

  Bill can talk by the hour on mushrooms and he laughs at
      my timid fears,
  He is still in the land of the living and has eaten the
      things for years;
  He is wise in the lore of the meadow, the swamp and the
      dark ravine,
  And I'd say, of the mushroom experts, he's the best that
      I've ever seen.

  If ever I gathered mushrooms I'd carry them back to Bill
  And ask him to look them over and pick out the ones
      that kill;
  I'd trust to his certain knowledge and bank on his
      judgment, too,
  For he is a shark on that stuff and can spiel it right
      off to you.

  Bill knows 'em and loves 'em and eats 'em, and all
      through the days of fall
  He's out with his little basket in search of the
      snowy ball;
  And never I doubt his knowledge, I grant it surpasses
      mine--
  But during the mushroom season I don't go to Bill's
      to dine.



  _The Town of Used to Be_

  Used to think I'd like to go
  To the town I used to know
  As a little bare-foot lad,
  Tanned of cheek an' always glad.
  But it's been so long since I
  Told the good old friends good-bye
  An' set out for wealth an' fame,
  That it cannot be the same,
  An' maybe I'd better not
  Spoil the picture that I've got.

  Bill's been back, an' he tells me
  Town's not what it used to be;
  That old Barker's grocery store
  Isn't open any more,
  An' most folks we knew are gone,
  Moved away or traveled on
  To a brighter realm than this;
  An' the girls we used to kiss
  An' go courtin' with, somehow
  Don't seem half so pretty now.

  Folks have told me that the farm
  Where I lived has lost its charm
  An' they've paved the dusty street
  Which was velvet to our feet,
  An' it's now a thoroughfare
  With the hum of motors there;
  Wouldn't want to lose the joy
  That I've treasured from a boy--
  Guess I'd better keep always
  Memories of those happier days.

  I'm afraid of goin' back.
  Memory still keeps the track
  To those favorite haunts of mine
  Like a painted canvas fine,
  An' the old spots live with me
  Just the way they used to be;
  An' to see them now would seem
  Much like shattering a dream,
  So the town shall live with me
  Just the way it used to be.



  _The Driver of the Truck_

  I envy him his care-free way, I envy him his smile,
  The highway is his own domain, he rules it every mile;
  The king who drives about by day, sends couriers on ahead
  And buglers gay and soldiers brave, a path for him to spread;
  But he may go his way alone nor fear that he'll be struck,
  For monarch of the highway is the driver of the truck.

  When I go driving down the road I must obey the rules,
  I must watch out for all who come, the sane men and the fools,
  And I must guard that car of mine with vigilance and care,
  For even trifling accidents might strand me then and there;
  But let who will bump into him, he's never out of luck,
  No pleasure car can ever stop the driver of the truck.

  He sits his seat in confidence, serene and quite content,
  His heavy wheels are never dished, his axles never bent;
  A locomotive engineer might jolt him from his place,
  But nothing short of that would bring a tremor to his face.
  He laughs his cheerful way along, too big for men to buck,
  And even millionaires must dodge the driver of the truck.

  Oh, kings and kaisers overthrown, who live in exile now,
  And princes of the royal blood whose heads have had to bow
  Before the people's mightier will, if you'd once more regain
  The arrogance of happier days before they closed your reign,
  You still can make the lowly flee and force the throngs
      to duck--
  Just hustle out and get a job as driver of a truck.



  _The Radio_

  Since Pa put in the radio we have a lot of fun,
  We hustle to my room upstairs as soon as supper's done
  And Pa he tinkers with the discs to get it loud and clear,
  Then says: "Wait just a minute now, there's nothing yet
      to hear.
  Oh, now it's coming!  Silence there!  Now don't you move
      a thing.
  Say Ma, this is a marvelous age--a lady's going to sing!"

  Then Ma she listens for awhile, as pleased as she can be
  And when I want to hear it, too, she says, "Don't bother me!
  Your turn comes next and sister's, too; don't jump around
      that way,
  I want to hear the orchestra--it's just begun to play.
  I wish you children wouldn't fuss, I'm sure I cannot hear
  While you are trying all the time to snatch it from my ear."

  Then Pa takes up the thing awhile and says: "Oh, that's
      just great!
  A man is telling stories now.  You kids will have to wait.
  It's wonderful to think his voice is floating in the air
  And people sitting in their homes can hear it everywhere--
  All right, all right!  It's your turn now.  Perhaps this
      man will teach
  You youngsters how you should behave.  A parson's going
      to preach."

  Pa put that radio in for me--at least he told me so,
  But if it's really mine or not, is something I don't know,
  'Coz Pa he wants it all himself, to hear the funny things,
  An' Ma must hear the concerts through when some great
      artist sings,
  But when the parson starts to talk on Selfishness an' Sin,
  Pa says: "Now it has come the time for you to listen in."



  _The Yellow Dog_

  It was a little yellow dog, a wistful thing to see,
  A homely, skinny, battered pup, as dirty as could be;
  His ribs were showing through his hide, his coat was
      thick with mud,
  And yet the way he wagged his tail completely captured Bud.

  He had been kicked from door to door and stoned upon his way,
  "Begone!" was all he'd ever heard, 'twas all that folks
      would say;
  And yet this miserable cur, forever doomed to roam,
  Struck up a comradeship with Bud, who proudly brought
      him home.

  I've never seen so poor a dog in all my stretch of years,
  The burrs were thick upon his tail and thick upon his ears;
  He'd had to fight his way through life and carried many a scar,
  But still Bud brought him home and cried: "Say, can I
      keep him, Ma?"

  I think the homeless terrier knows that age is harsh
      and stern,
  And from the shabby things of life in scorn is quick
      to turn;
  And when some scrubby yellow dog needs sympathy and joy,
  He's certain of a friend in need, if he can find a boy.



  _The Fairy and the Robin_

  A fairy and a robin met
  Beside a bed of mignonette.
  The robin bowed and raised his hat,
  And smiled a smile as wide as--that--
  Then said: "Miss Fairy, I declare,
  I'd kiss you, only I don't dare."

  The fairy curtsied low and said:
  "Your breast is such a lovely red,
  And you are such a handsome thing,
  And, oh, such pretty songs you sing--
  I'd gladly kiss you now, but I
  May only kiss a butterfly."

  The robin spoke a silly word:
  "I'm sorry I was born a bird!
  Were I a fairy-man instead,
  Then you and I might some day wed."
  The fairy laughed and said: "My dear,
  God had to have some robins here.

  "Be glad you're what you are and sing
  And cheer the people in the Spring.
  I play with children as I'm told,
  But you bring joy to young and old,
  And it seems always strange to me
  I'm one the old folks never see."

  The robin spoke: "Perhaps it's best.
  I'll sing my songs and show my breast
  And be a robin, and you stay
  And share in all the children's play.
  God needs us both, so let us try
  To do our duty--you and I."

  How do I know they said these things?
  I saw the robin spread his wings,
  I saw the fairy standing up
  Upon a golden buttercup,
  I hid myself behind a wall
  And listened close and heard it all.



  _Good Night_

  How many times we've said good night
    And kissed her as we turned away,
  Knowing that with the morning light
    She'd greet the beauty of the day.

  We left her sleeping in her bed
    And tiptoed gently from her room,
  And when the soft "good night" was said,
    The parting brought no touch of gloom.

  She would be there when we should rise,
    To greet us with her lovely smile--
  The sunbeams dancing in her eyes,
    And night seemed such a little while.

  Her spirit, till the break of day,
    Would leave this little world of ours
  For brighter realms wherein to play,
    Where fairies danced among the flowers.

  Sometimes we watched her as she dreamed
    And knew that she was free from care,
  And always lovelier she seemed
    When morning found her smiling there.

  "Good night, good night! sweet Marjorie!"
    We will be brave with you away.
  Some glad to-morrow there shall be,
    We'll come to you at break of day.



  _The Man Who Gets Promoted_

  The ordinary fellow does an ordinary task,
  He's mighty fond of "good enough" and lets it go at that;
  But the chap who gets promoted, or the raise he doesn't ask,
  Has just a little something more than hair beneath his hat.

  The ordinary fellow lives an ordinary day,
  With the ordinary fellow he is anxious to be quit;
  But the chap who draws attention and the larger weekly pay,
  Has a vision for the future and is working hard for it.

  He tackles every problem with the will to see it through,
  He does a little thinking of the work that comes to hand;
  His eyes are always open for the more that he can do,
  You never find him idle, merely waiting a command.

  The ordinary fellow does precisely as he's told,
  But someone has to tell him what to do, and how, and when;
  But the chap who gets promoted fills the job he has to hold
  With just a little something more than ordinary men.



  _The Lesson of the Crate_

  It seemed an unimportant task,
  Too trifling for a chief to ask,
  A little thing, nor could he see
  The need to do it thoroughly;
  He fancied none could ever tell
  Whether he did it very well
  Or slighted it, yet, truth to say,
  On him depended much that day.

  He was to nail a wooden crate,
  No chance in that for splendor great,
  No chance to prove his gift of skill,
  A thankless post was his to fill;
  Well nailed or not, 'twould be the same,
  The world would never learn his name--
  And yet that wooden crate was filled
  With what had taken months to build.

  He did not see or understand
  Just what was passing 'neath his hand--
  That as that wooden crate was nailed,
  A plan succeeded or it failed;
  That miles away men stood in wait
  Depending on that simple crate,
  For not a wheel could turn or drive
  Until it safely should arrive.

  He drove his nails, and let it go,
  Thinking that none would ever know
  Whose hand had held the hammer there
  Or, knowing it, would ever care;
  Yet in a few brief days there came
  The news that burned his cheeks with shame:
  "Broken in shipment and we stay
  Facing another month's delay."

  Vain is the skill of workmen great;
  Unless the boy who makes the crate
  Shall give his best to driving nails,
  The work of all the others fails.
  There is no unimportant task.
  Whatever duty life may ask,
  On it depends the greater plan--
  There is no unimportant man!



  _Bill and I Went Fishing_

  Bill and I went fishing.  Quit our beds at four,
  Got a hasty breakfast and softly closed the door,
  Packed the bait and tackle, pushed the boat away,
  Took the oars and started--without a word to say.

  Lake was smooth as crystal, sun was breaking through
  With a blaze of glory--old, but always new;
  Bill and I both watched it, grateful for the day,
  Spellbound by the beauty--but not a word to say.

  Threw the anchor over, started in to fish,
  Heard the reels a-clicking, heard the wet lines swish,
  Now and then we'd get one big enough to play,
  Sport and plenty of it--but not a word to say.

  Bill was busy dreaming, I was thinking, too,
  Lazy-like and wondering what makes skies so blue;
  Puffed our pipes in silence, let our minds just stray
  'Round and 'round about us--but not a word to say.

  Got back home that evening, happy as could be,
  I was proud of William, he was proud of me,
  Just the pal for fishing.  Here's the common touch--
  Said it of each other--"Never talks too much."



  _Easter_

  They found the great stone rolled away
    And Him whom men had crucified,
    With cruel spears had pierced His side
  And mocked with jests and gibes that day,
    Gone from the darkness and the gloom
    Of Death's grim tomb.

  Where He had slept in Death's embrace
    The linen of His shroud was piled,
    And white-robed angels gently smiled
  And bade them walk into the place.
    "The Lord is risen!" to them they said,
    "He is not dead."

  Keep ye the faith and still be brave!
    From every tomb that Easter day
    The stone of death was rolled away;
  The soul lives on beyond the grave,
    Death is but rest from pain and strife--
    The gate to life!



  _October_

  October and the crimsoned trees,
  The smell of smoke upon the breeze,
  The morning mist and autumn's chill,
  The brown of death upon the hill--
  And yet, a sense of loveliness
  Which pen or brush cannot express.

  A strange, mysterious calm which seems
  The canvas of a thousand dreams;
  The calm of duty nobly done,
  The peace of battles truly won,
  The joy with which all hearts are thrilled,
  A sense of promises fulfilled.

  Beyond October winter waits
  To pile its snow before the gates;
  What men call death shall hurl its stroke
  Alike at plant or giant oak--
  And yet beneath the snowdrifts deep
  We know the violets merely sleep.

  Mankind has its October, too,
  When little more there is to do,
  And we may claim the sweet content
  Of strength that has been nobly spent--
  And yet we fear, when comes the snow,
  There is no spring where we shall go.

  October with its lovely breath
  Voices the cry: there is no death!
  Men read it in a thousand ways;
  We see beyond the mist and haze
  Which shroud the hills and valleys deep,
  That all shall wake who fall asleep.



  _Mother and the Styles_

  Dresses high and dresses low,
  Fashion bids them come and go;
  Tresses bobbed and tresses long,
  Fashion sways the moving throng;
  What was new becomes the old,
  Thus this changing life is told.
  First we view it with a smile,
  Then adopt the latest style--
  But with all the passing days,
  Mothers never change their ways.

  Gay of heart and bright of face,
  Fashion seems to rule the place.
  With the swinging of the clock
  Youth gives Age another shock,
  Flaunting into public view
  Something Age would never do,
  Laughing at us when we preach,
  Scornful of us when we teach--
  But with all of fashion's wiles,
  Mothers never change their styles.

  Motherhood's no fickle thing,
  To be changed each fall and spring;
  As it was, so it remains,
  Spite of all its cares and pains.
  Joy may call and pleasure lure
  But a mother's love is pure,
  And the baby sinks to rest,
  Pillowed on her lovely breast,
  Closing little drowsy eyes
  To the softest lullabies.

  Mothers worry night and day
  When their children are away;
  Mothers grieve when they are ill,
  Always have and always will.
  They would shield you with their care
  Every day and every where,
  And they're happy through and through
  At the slightest smile from you--
  To the ending of their days
  Mothers never change their ways.



  _High Chair Days_

  High chair days are the best of all,
    Or so they seem to me,
  Days when tumbler and platter fall
    And the King smiles merrily;
  When the regal arms and the regal feet
  A constant patter of music beat,
  And the grown-ups bow in a gracious way
  To the high chair monarch who rules the day.

  High chair days, and the throne not dressed
    In golden or purple hues
  But an old style thing, let it be confessed,
    His grandmother used to use;
  Its legs are scarred and a trifle bowed,
  But the king who sits on the chair is proud,
  And he throws his rattle and silver cup
  For the joy of making us pick them up.

  The old high chair in the dining room
    Is a handsomer thing by far
  Than the costly chairs in the lonely gloom
    Of the childless mansions are,
  For the sweetest laughter the world has known
  Comes day by day from that humble throne,
  And the happiest tables, morn and night,
  Have a high chair placed at the mother's right.

  The old high chair is a joy sublime,
    Yet it brings us its hour of pain,
  For we've put it away from time to time,
    Perhaps never to need again;
  Yet God was good, and the angles tapped,
  And again was the old high chair unwrapped,
  And proud was I when I heard the call
  To bring it back to the dining hall.

  There are griefs to meet and cares to face
    Through the years that lie ahead;
  The proudest monarch must lose his place
    And lie with the splendid dead;
  I know there are blows I shall have to meet,
  I must pay with the bitter for all life's sweet,
  But I live in dread of that coming day
  When forever the high chair goes away.



  _Whooping Cough_

  There is a reason, I suppose, for everything which comes--
  Why youngsters fall from apple trees and babies suck
      their thumbs;
  And though I can't explain it all, when trouble comes I know
  That since by Providence 'tis willed, it must be wiser so.
  But knowing this, I still insist we'd all be better off
  If little children could escape the dreaded whooping cough.

  I never see a red-faced child in spasms violent
  But what I wonder why to babes such suffering is sent.
  Though mumps and measles, chicken pox and scarlet
      fever, too,
  Beset the lives of those I love, I still can see
      them through;
  But terror seems to chill my blood the minute that I hear
  That awful sign that someone's child with whooping
      cough is near.

  Old women say it has to be, but I grow pale as death
  When I behold a boy or girl in anguish fight for breath.
  They tell me not to be alarmed, but I'm not made of steel,
  And every touch of agony the youngster has, I feel;
  And could I run this world of ours, the first thing
      I'd cut off
  From all the things which have to be, would be the
      whooping cough.



  _Over the Crib_

  Over the crib where the baby lies,
  Countless beautiful visions rise
  Which only the mothers and fathers see,
  Pictures of laughter and joy and song
  As the years come sweeping us all along.
  Care seldom startles the happy eyes
  Over the crib where the baby lies.

  A wonderful baby lying there!
  And strangers smile at the happy pair,
  Proud and boastful, for all they see
  Is the dimpled chin and the dimpled knee;
  But never a little one comes to earth
  That isn't a wonderful babe at birth,
  And never a mother who doesn't see
  Glorious visions of joy to be.

  Over the crib where the baby lies,
  Dreams of splendor and pride arise,
  Deeds of valor and deeds of love
  Hover about and shine above
  The tiny form, and the future glows
  With a thousand dreams which the mother knows,
  And beauty dances before her eyes
  Over the crib where the baby lies.

  Yet we smile at her and we smile at him,
  For we are old and our eyes are dim
  And we have forgotten and don't recall
  Yet world-wide over the mothers dream
  The visions we saw when our babes were small,
  And ever they see in a golden stream,
  Wonderful joys in the by-and-by
  Over the cribs where their babies lie.



  _Grass and Children_

  I used to want a lovely lawn, a level patch of green,
  For I have marveled many times at those that I have seen,
  And in my early dreams of youth the home that I should keep
  Possessed a lawn of beauty rare, a velvet carpet deep,
  But I have changed my mind since then--for then I
      didn't know
  That where the feet of children run the grass can never grow.

  Now I might own a lovely lawn, but I should have to say
  To all the little ones about, "Go somewhere else to play!"
  And I should have to stretch a wire about my garden space
  And make the home where gladness reigns, a most
      forbidding place.
  By stopping all the merriment which now is ours to know,
  In time, beyond the slightest doubt, the tender grass
      would grow.

  But oh, I want the children near, and so I never say,
  When they are romping around the home, "Go somewhere
      else to play!"
  And though my lawn seems poorly kept, and many a spot
      is bare,
  I'd rather see, than growing grass, the youngsters
      happy there.
  I've put aside the dream I had in that far long ago--
  I'd rather have a playground than a place for grass
      to grow.



  _The Hills of Faith_

  The hills are in the mist to-day,
  Their purple robes are put away.
  Like coast guards in their yellow coats
    They face the driving rain;
  Like coast guards in their yellow coats,
  Who watch the sea for ship-wrecked boats,
  They watch the land for human craft
    In trouble on the plain.

  The gray clouds rush among their peaks,
  Some weakness there the storm-king seeks.
  A frightened boulder breaks away
    And rolls into the glen;
  A tree is crushed to earth again,
  But staunch and brave the hills remain,
  A symbol of unfaltering faith
    To all the hosts of men.

  Time was the hills were tinged with gold,
  About them seas of crimson rolled,
  A gentle beauty graced their brows
    As delicate as May
  Who comes with blossoms in her hair.
  They laughed away the summer there,
  But now sublimely stern they stand,
    Attired in somber gray.

  Symbols of strength, unmoved they keep
  Their place against the winds that sweep;
  Defenders of our coast of faith,
    They signal to us all
  That what is strong and best and true
  Shall breast the gale and live it through
  To greet the birth of spring again
    And hear the song bird's call.



  _Last Night the Baby Cried_

  Last night the baby cried.  And I,
    Roused from a sound and soothing sleep,
  Wondered to hear that little cry.
    For ten long years in slumber deep
  I've lived my nights, and so it seemed
  That what I'd heard I'd only dreamed.

  For ten long years a banging gate,
    The milkman's whistle, or the horn
  Of motors driven at rapid rate,
    Have wakened me at early dawn;
  But late last night awake was I,
  Thinking I'd heard a baby cry.

  I leaned upon my elbow there
    And wondered did I dream or not?
  But once again upon the air
    The call came from her tiny cot!
  Then peacefully I turned and smiled
  To hear the crying of our child.

  Lonely and still the house has seemed
    For ten long years, but once again
  We have the joy of which we'd dreamed--
    The joy which many seek in vain!
  Oh, happy, happy home, thought I,
  That wakes to hear a baby cry.



  _The True Critic_

  There is one critic which a man should heed
    And strive with all his strength to satisfy;
  Whether it be in big or little deed,
    One sits in judgment with a watchful eye.

  One voice there is which flatters not for gain
    Nor censures honest effort as a pose,
  One voice which never speaks to cause us pain,
    Nor seeks to tell the world how much it knows.

  Yet if it tell us we have done our best,
    Have kept the faith and labored to be true,
  We can lie down at night in peace to rest
    Nor mind what others say or think or do.

  If but this eye which reads our inmost thought
    See no dishonor in the stand we take,
  If but this voice can praise the fight we've fought,
    We need not heed the storm that critics make.

  If we but live with Conscience as our guide,
    We rob the colder critics of their sting;
  If but that voice of us can speak in pride,
    We need not heed the barbs which others fling.

  If it can say we've truly done our best,
    And call our motives worthy, though we fail,
  We then can turn our faces to the west,
    Scorning the lesser critics who assail.



  _A Song in Everything_

  There is a song in everything,
    In every little care that comes,
    In babies as they suck their thumbs,
  The tunes the brave canaries sing,
    The mother's patient, gentle smile,
    The glory of the after-while.

  There is no sadness but is sweet
    With fragrance, and there is no day
    But spreads some beauty on life's way;
  The dusty and the weary feet
    Upon their homeward journey bring
    Delights which loving hearts may sing.

  The high chair and the cradle, too,
    Have ever set brave lips to song;
    No grief has ever lived so long
  But turned to music as it grew,
    And every hour of strife and pain
    Leaves in the heart some sweet refrain.

  Lord, teach me this, from day to day,
    To find beyond the hurt and care
    Thy mercy shining everywhere;
  Let me rejoice that children play,
    And know when bitter tempests sting
    There is a song in everything.



  _Triumph_

  Back of every golden dream.
  Every engine hissing steam,
  Back of every hammer falling
  And of every deed men dare;
  Back of every tilt and fight
  Is the coming home at night
  To the loved ones who are waiting
  In the victory to share.

  When all is said and done
  And the battle's lost or won,
  It's the laughter of the children
  And the mother's gentle smile,
  It's the pride of those you know,
  Good old friends who love you so,
  That make the prize worth having
  And the victory worth while.

  'Tis not in success alone
  That achievement's worth is known.
  If we had no friends to cheer us
  And no one at home to care;
  If man's glory as a fighter
  Did not make a few eyes brighter
  He would cease to try for conquest
  And would never do or dare.

  Back of every man you'll find
  Loving hearts who stay behind,
  Watching, waiting, patient, loyal,
  As he strives to meet the test,
  And the thought which drives him daily
  Is that they shall meet him gayly,
  And shall glory in his triumph
  On the day he does his best.



  _Ships_

  To-day, if I were free, I think
  I'd wander to the river's brink
  And watch the great ships steaming by--
  The stream below, above the sky--
  And see those vessels bearing then
  The countless hopes of mortal men.

  And I could lie upon the shore
  And glimpse the mother at the door
  Watching and waiting, every trip,
  To see the coming of the ship,
  For that great hull which carries grain
  Also brings home her boy again.

  I wonder if the wheelsman knows,
  As he the guiding rudder throws,
  How many hopes and dreams and fears
  Are burdened in the ship he steers?
  Depending on his watchful eyes
  The laughter of a lifetime lies.

  Men write his cargo down as ore,
  Or grain or coal, but it is more--
  It's women's smiles and women's tears
  And little children's happy years,
  For human destines await
  The safe arrival of his freight.

  We are but smaller packet ships
  Set out upon our various trips,
  Chartered for gold, or skill or fame,
  Listed and registered by name,
  Yet burdened with the smiles and tears
  Our own must know throughout the years.

  The women and the children wait
  For us each evening at the gate,
  Glad when we safely come from town
  And desolate if we go down.
  Bitter their years if we shall fail
  To hold the course and breast the gale.



  _Mother's Way_

  Tender, gentle, brave and true,
  Loving us whate'er we do!
  Waiting, watching at the gate
  For the footsteps that are late,
  Sleepless through the hours of night
  Till she knows that we're all right;
  Pleased with every word we say--
  That is every mother's way.

  Others sneer and turn aside.
  Mother welcomes us with pride;
  Over-boastful of us, too,
  Glorying in all we do,
  First to praise and last to blame,
  Love that always stays the same,
  Following us where'er we stray--
  That is every mother's way.

  She would grant us all we seek,
  Give her strength where we are weak.
  Beauty?  She would let it go
  For the joy we yearn to know.
  Life?  She'd give it gladly, too,
  For the dream that we pursue;
  She would toil that we might play--
  That is every mother's way.

  Not enough for her are flowers--
  Her life is so blent with ours
  That in all we dare and do
  She is partner, through and through;
  Suffering when we suffer pain,
  Happy when we smile again,
  Living with us, night and day--
  That is every mother's way.



  _Life Needs Us All_

  There is so much that we can do--
    A kind word spoken here and there
    Will ease another's weight of care;
  Life needs us all.  The splendid few
    Who rise to fame, with all their skill
    Your post and mine can never fill.

  If we who have not wealth or fame
    Should fail in all our little deeds,
    The world would sink beneath its needs.
  Not by the greatness of a name,
    Nor by the splendor of success,
    Are hearts restored to happiness.

  About us all are those who need
    The gifts which we have power to give;
    We can be friendly while we live
  And by some thoughtful, kindly deed,
    Can help another on his way--
    And that is service, come what may.

  What though we miss the heights of skill,
    The splendor of the greater few,
    There is so much that we can do;
  There is a place which we can fill--
    Always about us while we live
    Are those who need what we can give.



  _A Certain Man_

  I cherish the picture of a man
    Who has not been, but is to be.
  His cheek is bronzed by the summer tan
    And his smile is fair to see.
  His word is good and his heart is true
  And he loves the old red, white and blue.

  I vision him oft, and where'er he goes
    Glad voices give him a warm hello.
  The trust of the little ones he knows
    And respect of friend or foe--
  For never the scarlet mark of shame
  Has marred his record or touched his name.

  He walks the world in a kindly way.
    He laughs when the jest is fair.
  The wide outdoors is his field of play
    And he loves the beauties there.
  He hears God's word in the whispering trees
  And the song of birds and the drone of bees.

  I talk to him oft when the night is still,
    I think of him day by day;
  He hasn't arrived, but I pray he will
    When his youth has passed away.
  And what is his name and who is he?
  The man that I hope my son will be.



  _What a Father Wants to Know_

  You would take my girl away!
  What is there that I can say
  Save the things all fathers think,
  Seldom put in printer's ink?
  Little care I for your fame,
  Or the glory you may claim,
  Or the fortune you may earn;
  These are not my deep concern--
  This I really want to know,
  Will you always love her so?

  It is fine enough to tell
  That to-day you're doing well;
  I appreciate your skill
  And I think some day you will
  Climb the ladder of success
  To your lasting happiness;
  But if all this should be had
  And my little girl be sad,
  I'd regret my whole life through
  Having given her to you.

  Will you always love her so?
  That is what I want to know.
  Will you comfort her and stay
  At her side from day to day?
  Knowing she must bear your name,
  Will you shield her from all shame?
  This the burden on my mind,
  Will you thoughtful be and kind?
  All that matters is to know
  That you'll always love her so.



  _The Luckless Fisherman_

  They laughed when I came home last night
  And said I didn't get a bite;
  They snickered an' they joked at me,
  And all the fellows asked to see
  The ones I'd caught, "Oho!" said they,
  "He's been out fishing all this day
  An' hasn't caught a single thing,
  He never got a fish to string."

  They laughed at me, but all their jeers
  Traveled no further than my ears.
  'Twas true I'd fished all day without
  Snaring a single speckled trout,
  But what of that?  I'd had a day
  That I could loaf and dream away,
  I'd chummed with birds and friendly trees
  And been as care-free as the breeze.

  I'd rested wheresoe'er I'd willed,
  To me the hum of trade was stilled,
  I'd let my thoughts go wandering far
  To where life's happier glories are;
  I'd whistled like a boy once more,
  And even stretched full length on shore
  To watch the white clouds sail the blue,
  The very way I used to do.

  They laughed when I came home at night
  And said I didn't get a bite.
  They seemed to think my luck was bad.
  They couldn't guess the fun I'd had
  And couldn't know that all that day
  I'd been a free man, blithe and gay,
  And though of fish I'd landed none,
  I'd caught the joys for which I'd gone.



  _Consolation_

  "It is all for the best," so they said
  As I stood by my dead.
  But I doubted the word
  That so often I heard;
  I could catch but the moan
  Of the mother, alone,
  And feel but the blow
  Which had stricken us so.

  "Why," I cried, "should it be
  God must so punish me?
  Why should my baby die
  When are hundreds near by,
  Old and feeble of breath,
  Waiting only for death?"
  And they answered me low:
  "God has ordered it so."

  But to-day, through the years
  That have ended our tears,
  We have memories rare
  That no others may share;
  We can look back and see
  Why the blow had to be--
  By that mound and its sod,
  We are closer to God.



  _If It's Worth While_

  If it's worth while, then it's worth a few blows,
    Worth a few setbacks and worth a few bruises;
  If it's worth while--and it is, I suppose--
    It's worth keeping on, though the first struggle loses.

  If it's worth while, then it's worth a good fight,
    Worth a few bouts with the demon, Disaster,
  Worth going after with courage and might,
    Worth keeping on till you've proved you are master.

  If it's worth while, then it's worth a few pains,
    Worth a few heartaches and worth a few sorrows,
  Worth clinging fast to the hope that remains,
    Worth going on through the doubtful to-morrows.

  Stand to the battle and see the test through,
    Pay all you have in endurance and might for it;
  If it's worth while and a good thing to do,
    Then it is worth all it costs in the fight for it.



  _The Letter_

  The postman whistled down the street
  And seemed to walk on lighter feet,
  And as he stepped inside her gate
  He knew he carried precious freight;
  He knew that day he carried joy--
  He had the letter from her boy.

  Day after day he'd kept his pace
  And seen her careworn, gentle face.
  She watched for him to come and took
  The papers with an anxious look,
  But disappointment followed hope--
  She missed the one glad envelope.

  He stopped to chat with her awhile
  And saw the sadness of her smile,
  He fancied he could hear her sigh
  The morning that he traveled by;
  He knew that when to-morrow came
  She would be waiting just the same.

  The boy who was so far away
  Could never hear her gently say:
  "Well, have you brought good news to me?"
  Her eager face he could not see,
  Or note the lines of anxious care
  As every day she waited there.

  But when he wrote, on lighter feet
  The happy postman walked the street.
  "Well, here it is, at last," he'd shout,
  "To end the worry and the doubt."
  The robin on the maple limb
  Began to sing: "She's heard from him."

  Her eyes with joy began to glow,
  The neighbors round her seemed to know
  That with the postman at the door
  Sweet peace had come to her once more.
  When letters bring so much delight,
  Why do the sons forget to write?



  _The Tower Clock_

  Day after day the clock in the tower
  Strikes on its resonant bell, the hour.
  Telling the throngs in the city block
  Once again it's ten o'clock!
  Day after day, and the crowds pass on,
  Till they and another hour have gone.

  I heard it first as an eager lad,
  The largest clock which the city had,
  And it rang the hour in the self-same way
  That it rings it out for the town to-day,
  And many who heard it then have gone,
  Gone like the days that have journeyed on.

  Mighty and many the throngs have grown,
  Many the changes the town has known,
  But the old clock still in its tower stands,
  Telling the hour with its silent hands;
  And the great pass by and they come no more,
  But the bell still rings as it did of yore.

  And I think to-day as I hear it ring
  That the fame men crave is a fleeting thing.
  Unchanged, unswayed by the pomps men praise,
  The old clock high in its tower stays,
  Sounding the hours for the great and low
  As it sounded them in the long ago.

  So when the throngs that are here pass by
  And the pride of to-day in the dust shall lie,
  When the new crowds come in their search for power,
  The self-same clock in the self-same tower
  Shall still ring out in the city block,
  For them, as for us, it is ten o'clock.



  _The Busy Summer Cottage_

  Our friends have automobiles now.  The summer
      cottage where we went
  To rest beside the water's blue in peace and
      indolent content
  Is but an hour's swift ride away.  So bright and
      early Sunday morn
  Before the breakfast eggs are cooked, we hear
      the honking of the horn.

  We must have bathing suits for ten, although our
      family numbers four;
  Beds must be made for all who come, though father
      sleeps upon the floor;
  Dishes and knives and forks and spoons are
      gathered in one huge display,
  For we must be prepared to feed the visitors
      who come our way.

  From Friday noon till Monday morn full many a weary
      trip I take,
  Rowing the women and their babes upon the bosom
      of the lake;
  And by that law which rules a host I'm at the
      mercy of the crew,
  I must, until they say good-bye, do everything
      they wish to do.

  The chef in yonder large hotel is not a busier man
      than I,
  The fish for fifteen hungry mouths it is my duty
      now to fry,
  And thus my glad vacation time from dawn to dusk
      is filled with chores,
  For friends have made our resting spot the busiest
      place in all outdoors.



  _Good Enough_

  My son, beware of "good enough,"
  It isn't made of sterling stuff;
  It's something any man can do,
  It marks the many from the few,
  It has no merit to the eye,
  It's something any man can buy,
  Its name is but a sham and bluff,
  For it is never "good enough."

  With "good enough" the shirkers stop
  In every factory and shop;
  With "good enough" the failures rest
  And lose to men who give their best;
  With "good enough" the car breaks down
  And men fall short of high renown.
  My son, remember and be wise,
  In "good enough" disaster lies.

  With "good enough" have ships been wrecked,
  The forward march of armies checked,
  Great buildings burned and fortunes lost;
  Nor can the world compute the cost
  In life and money it has paid
  Because at "good enough" men stayed.
  Who stops at "good enough" shall find
  Success has left him far behind.

  There is no "good enough" that's short
  Of what you can do and you ought.
  The flaw which may escape the eye
  And temporarily get by,
  Shall weaken underneath the strain
  And wreck the ship or car or train,
  For this is true of men and stuff--
  Only the best is "good enough."



  _The Chimney Piece_

  I would not, if I could, recall some customs that are gone.
  I'm glad that wreath of immortelles I need not look upon--
  That cold, imperishable thing of wax, in colors gay.
  Which hung upon the parlor wall in Grandma's earlier day,
  No longer shrieks its warning grim that mortal life must cease--
  And yet I'm sorry we have lost the old-time chimney piece.

  The modern mantel, I admit, is striking to the eye,
  And yet it lacks the wealth of charm we knew in days gone by;
  For on the little marble shelf above the grate fire's glow
  Were all the sacred treasures of the homestead in a row,
  The pictures and the onyx clock, the globe of native birds,
  Which told the things we loved the most in clearer speech than words.

  There Mother kept in tenderness the trinkets of the years,
  The tokens of her happier days, the symbols of her tears;
  The glossy cabinet photographs, the candlesticks of brass,
  The picture of Niagara Falls blown into heavy glass,
  And there above the grate fire's glow, for every eye to see,
  Were all the sacred treasures from her book of memory.

  But Time has swept these things away, the mantel now is bare.
  The attic dust lies thick upon the joys once valued there;
  The photographs are stored away, the birds long since have flown,
  Nor is it now good form to show the treasured things we own,
  For when the newer customs come, the ones of old must cease,
  And yet I'm sorry that we had to lose the chimney piece.



  _The Crocus_

  A yellow crocus bloomed today.
    Where all is dead and bleak and bare,
  It flashed its light along the way
    And radiantly twinkled there.

  Out of the darkness and the gloom,
    Braving the blizzard's bitter sting,
  There came this golden bit of bloom
    To herald the advancing spring.

  "Hold out!  Hold out!" it seemed to say,
    "Soon must the siege of winter fall,
  The daffodils are on their way,
    The hyacinths have heard you call.

  "Behind me comes a countless throng
    Of bigger, braver blooms than I;
  The woods shall shortly ring with song,
    Spring's glorious army draweth nigh."

  A yellow crocus flashed today
    Its torch of faith for all to see--
  The troops of spring are on the way,
    The captive earth will soon be free.



  _My Goals_

  A little braver when the skies are gray,
    A little stronger when the road seems long,
  A little more of patience through the day,
    And not so quick to magnify a wrong.

  A little kinder, both of thought and deed,
    A little gentler with the old and weak,
  Swifter to sense another's pressing need,
    And not so fast the hurtful phrase to speak.

  These are my goals--not flung beyond my power,
    Not dreams of glory, beautiful but vain,
  Not the great heights where buds of genius flower,
    But simple splendors which I ought to gain.

  These I can do and be from day to day
    Along the humble pathway where I plod,
  So that at last when I am called away
    I need not make apologies to God.



  _The Carpet on the Stairs_

  Let others sing in modern ways, it's joy enough for me
  To sing in good old-fashioned rhyme the days that used to be.
  The page of boyhood's scribbled full with things we used to do,
  The fun we had, the games we played, the little tasks we knew,
  And back to mind there comes today the hardest of our cares,
  That springtime job of putting down the carpet on the stairs.

  Housecleaning time meant weary legs and hands and aching backs,
  For no more tedious job there is than driving carpet tacks.
  Then mother told us what to do, and on our hands and knees
  We stretched and hauled and pulled and tugged and did our
      best to please;
  But, oh!  I well remember now one task which patience wears,
  That awkward, muscle straining job of carpeting the stairs.

  We'd start upon the topmost step and let the carpet roll,
  But then began a feat of strength to try the bravest soul.
  The corners must be folded so and stretched and firmly tacked,
  With mother watching every move as down the stairs we backed;
  And many a time we've reached the end, discovering there and then
  It wouldn't do at all that way and must be laid again.

  No more we break our finger nails and set our knees on fire
  In stretching carpets on the floors, no more our muscles tire;
  No more the mother stands above our bended forms to see
  That every tack is driven home the way it ought to be.
  The times are very different now, and no one ever shares
  The joy and pain of long ago, while carpeting the stairs.



  _Horse and Cutter Days_

  Winters are not what they used to be in the cities
      of haste and rush;
  The snow is white for a little while, then turns to
      an ugly slush.
  And the rapid wheels of the motor cars grind all of
      its beauty down--
  But I long for the horse and cutter days we knew
      in the little town.

  Then the world stayed white for a month or two and
      the snow drifts higher grew
  And cheeks were pink with the glow of health and the
      joys we youngsters knew,
  Then sleigh bells added a merry lilt to the cold
      and crispy air
  And youth and maid in an open sleigh were always
      a happy pair.

  We hitched a ride to the runners strong and the
      snow flew from our feet,
  But it's dangerous now to hitch a ride on the dark
      and crowded street,
  And the raucous honk of the motor horn has banished
      the sleigh bell's song,
  For winter days are cheerless now and winter nights
      are long.

  Perhaps it's well that our customs change and good
      that we travel on,
  But blent with the smiles of our newer joys are sighs
      for the pleasures gone,
  And I sometimes long for the drifted snow and the
      white and frosty ways,
  For the cheeks of pink and the laughter gay of our
      horse and cutter days.



  _The Old-Time Lilac Bush_

  A lilac bush is a lovely thing
  Wherever it blossoms in early spring,
  But I have a tenderer regard
  For the old-time bush in an old-time yard,
  With the house near-by and the youngsters flown,
  And the old folks living there all alone,
  For always I fancy I can see
  The visions that cling to the lilac tree.

  The house still stands, but the walls are still,
  And the storms have battered each window sill;
  There's a tired, worn look on the humble place,
  Like the weary look on the mother's face,
  Yet somehow or other I seem to know
  That joy reigned here in the long ago,
  And somehow or other I seem to see
  The dreams which cling to the lilac tree.

  Time was those feeble hands were strong
  And the faltering footsteps danced along;
  Time was youth romped in that lonely place,
  But never the years will halt their pace,
  And the young must go, but the old will cling
  To the home they've loved to the final Spring,
  For they hear the laughter that used to be,
  When the bloom comes back to the lilac tree.

  A lilac bush is a lovely thing
  Wherever it blossoms in early spring,
  But, bent with age and the smiles and tears
  Which come to all with the passing years,
  It seems to me that it wears the glow
  Of the golden days of the long ago,
  For all that remains of the youth long gone
  Is the lilac tree still blossoming on.



  _A Boy's Feet_

  I got a cowlick, an' it stands
  Up straight, an' I got dirty hands,
  An' if it shows a single speck
  I have to go an' wash my neck,
  An' every day Ma squints an' peers
  To see if I have washed my ears;
  But I ain't ever really neat
  All on account of havin' feet.

  These feet of mine are always wrong,
  I mustn't shuffle 'em along
  Or kick a stone that's in the way,
  Or if I do someone will say:
  "I wish you'd lift your feet a bit;
  The way you walk gives me a fit!
  Those shoes were new a week ago
  An' now you've busted out the toe."

  They're always peckin' at me, too,
  For standin' like the fellers do.
  An' just because my toes turn in,
  The teacher makes the pupils grin
  By tellin' me ten times a day:
  "Please turn your toes the other way!"
  An' even when I'm in my seat
  She kicks if I just swing my feet.

  If I get nervous an' I put
  One shoe upon the other foot,
  Or scrape the floor, they say: "My land!
  Is that the way a boy should stand?"
  An' if I rest 'em on a chair,
  Ma says: "Don't put your feet up there!"
  An' if I sit on them they roar:
  "Please put your feet upon the floor!"

  I'm gettin' tired of all this talk
  About the way I stand or walk,
  An' anyhow it seems to me,
  At least as far as I can see,
  My feet aren't any different than
  The other fellers 'round here, an'
  Some day my temper will explode--
  It ain't my fault I'm pigeon-toed.



  _Old-Fashioned Remedies_

  Taking medicine to-day isn't what it used to be.
  Castor oil is castor oil, but they've banished senna tea,
  And they've sugar coated now all the bitter things we took,
  Mother used to brew for us from the family doctor book.
  Now I tell that boy of mine when he starts to make a fuss,
  He is lucky not to be taking what they gave to us.

  Seems the kitchen stove back then always had a pan or two
  Brewing up a remedy for the ailments which we knew,
  Something mother said we'd need surely in a little while,
  Senna tea for stomach ills and its brother, camomile;
  But I vow the worst of all remedies they gave to me
  Was that gummy, sticky stuff known and served as flaxseed tea.

  Boy, put down that little pill, take your powders and be glad
  You're not getting what they gave when your father was a lad.
  Mother's hand was gentle, but rough and hard it seemed to be
  When she sat beside my bed rubbing goose-grease into me.
  Getting well is easy now.  Take your medicine and smile,
  You are lucky that it's not senna tea or camomile.



  _The Tumbler at the Sink_

  The houses of the rich folks are very fine to see,
  But after all I fancy they'd never do for me--
  For a butler guards the doorway, and a staff of servants wait
  To gratify your slightest wish, like messengers of state.
  They're there to do your bidding, and should you want a drink
  They'll never let you get it from the tumbler at the sink.

  Now it may be I'm old fashioned, but to really feel at home,
  I like to be permitted all around the house to roam,
  And I like to find the kitchen, with the towel upon the door,
  And the gayly colored picture from the corner grocery store.
  There's a comfortable feeling which the great folks miss,
      I think,
  In drinking, when you're thirsty, from the tumbler at the sink.

  There's a charm about the kitchen which no other room can boast,
  And when you think about it, it's the one we need the most.
  It is there we find her smiling when we come back home at night,
  There the children dance about her as they're pleading for a bite,
  And it's there that eyes are brightest, cheeks the pinkest
      of the pink,
  And it's there, for all the thirsty, there's the tumbler
      at the sink.



  _The Garden Catalogue_

  There's never frost nor blight nor weeds,
    Nor neighbor's chickens, cats or dogs,
  To ruin all the tender seeds
    That flourish in the catalogues;
  The humblest vine that's planted there
  Blossoms without the slightest care.

  There are no withered stalks to see,
    No pitiful attempts to thrive,
  No shrub that struggles desperately
    To catch the sun and stay alive.
  In catalogues the larkspur seems
  To match the gardener's fondest dreams.

  The red geranium is strong,
    Its clump of blossom full and round,
  No windstorm ever comes along
    To sweep the cosmos to the ground,
  No youngster ever bats a ball
  Among the roses, straight and tall.

  I turn the pages o'er and o'er
    And see the pansies dark as wine,
  And think, as I have thought before,
    These are superior to mine;
  In my poor garden, never yet
  Has bloomed such lovely mignonette.

  Since pansies have the storms to face
    And men must battle day by day,
  They cannot wear the charm and grace
    Their printed catalogues display;
  Life is much sterner than it looks
  And scars are seldom shown in books.



  _Here on the Earth_

  Here is where the blows are struck,
    Here is where the wrong is done,
  Here are toilers in the muck;
    Here beneath the shining sun,
  Pain and hurt and sin abide,
  Here is where our souls are tried.

  What's beyond I cannot say,
    Save my faith that all is well;
  There the wrongs are cast away,
    There in peace the angels dwell,
  But this life on earth and sea
  Holds so much that need not be.

  I would not remain afar
    Thinking only of my soul;
  Here where hungry children are,
    Here where hatred mars the scroll,
  Thought and time and strength I'd give
  Bettering this life we live.

  Not to-morrow, but to-day,
    I would serve another's need,
  I would smooth another's way,
    Bind the cruel wounds that bleed;
  Death will soothe the weary brow,
  But my hand would smooth it now.

  Life has need of kindly men,
    Just, courageous, true and brave,
  But that need is ended when
    Comes the sexton to the grave;
  Let me, then, my duty face,
  Making earth a happier place.

  Let me serve the living here,
    Not the dead across the bar,
  Let me carry hope and cheer
    Where the sad and hopeless are;
  Angels wait upon the dead--
  Let me smooth the path men tread.



  _I Mustn't Forget_

  I mustn't forget that I'm gettin' old--
    That's the worst thing ever a man can do.
  I must keep in mind without bein' told
    That old ideas must give way to new.
  Let me be always upon my guard
    Never a crabby old man to be,
  Youth is too precious to have it marred
    By the cranky whims of a man like me.

  I must remember that customs change
    An' I've had my youth an' my hair is gray,
  Mustn't be too surprised at strange
    Or startlin' things that the youngsters say;
  Mustn't keep the bit in their mouths too tight,
    Which is something old people are apt to do.
  What used to be wrong may to-day be right
    An' it may not be wrong just becoz it's new.

  Want 'em to like me an' want 'em to know
    That I need their laughter an' mirth an' song,
  An' I want 'em near, 'coz I love 'em so,
    An' home is the place where their smiles belong.
  They're growin' up, an' it seems so queer
    To hear them talk of the views they hold,
  But age with youth shouldn't interfere
    An' I mustn't forget that I'm gettin' old.



  _Old-Fashioned Dinners_

  It wasn't too much work for her in the days of long ago
  To get a dinner ready for a dozen friends or so;
  The mother never grumbled at the cooking she must do
  Or the dusting or the sweeping, but she seemed to smile
      it through,
  And the times that we were happiest, beyond the
      slightest doubt,
  Were when good friends were coming and we stretched
      the table out.

  We never thought, when we were young, to take our
      friends away
  And entertain them at a club or in some swell cafe;
  When mother gave a dinner, she would plan it all herself
  And feed the people that she liked, the best things
      on the shelf.
  Then one job always fell to me, for I was young and stout,
  I brought the leaves to father when he stretched the
      table out.

  That good old-fashioned table.  I can see it still to-day
  With its curious legs of varnished oak round which I
      used to play;
  It wasn't much to look at, not as stylish or refined
  Or as costly or as splendid as the oval, modern kind,
  But it always had a welcome for our friends to sit about,
  And though twenty guests were coming, we could always
      stretch it out.

  I learned it from my mother--it is foolish pride to roam,
  The only place to entertain your friends is right at home.
  Just let them in by dozens, let them laugh and sing and play
  And come to love and know them in the good old-fashioned way;
  Home's the place for fun and friendship, home's the place
      where joy may shout,
  And if you crowd our dining room, we'll stretch the table out.



  _The Dreamer_

  The road lay straight before him, but the by-paths smiled at him
  And the scarlet poppies called him to the forests cool and dim,
  And the song birds' happy chorus seemed to lure him further on;
  'Twas a day of wondrous pleasure--but the day was quickly gone.

  He could not resist the laughter and the purling of a brook
  Any more than gray old sages can resist some dusty book,
  And though stern-faced duty bade him march the highway
      straight ahead,
  "The trees are better company than busy men," he said.

  We wondered at his dreaming and his wanderings far astray,
  But we were counting values by the gold and silver way,
  And sometimes as I saw him gazing idly at the sky,
  I fancied he had pleasures of a sort I couldn't buy.

  I fancy he saw something in the clouds above the trees
  Which the gold and glory seeker passes by and never sees,
  And I think he gathered something from the woods and
      running streams
  Which is just as good as money to the man of many dreams.



  _Hot Mince Pie_

  I stood upon the coping of the tallest building known
  And tried to walk that dangerous ledge, bare-footed
      and alone.
  I started very bravely, then I turned to look behind
  And saw a demon coming of the most ferocious kind;
  He bade me get a move on, and I started in to run
  And I slipped and lost my balance, and I knew that
      I was done.

  I had a wild encounter with a mad and awful beast,
  His eyes were bulged with malice, for he'd picked me
      for a feast.
  I tried to scream, but couldn't.  Then he growled a
      fearful note
  And gave one spring towards me and his fangs sank in
      my throat,
  One gulp and it was over--it was much too black to see,
  But I knew beyond all question that the end had come for me.

  I tumbled from an aeroplane and looped and looped around,
  And was twenty-seven minutes on my journey to the ground;
  I bumped a dozen steeples on my perilous descent
  And left as many flagstaffs either snapped in two or bent--
  But when I woke, in terror, I discovered with a sigh
  How much of real excitement lurks in mother's hot mince pie.



  _The Laughing Boy_

  Always seeing the funny side,
    That's the glorious way of him.
  Rollin' his head, with his mouth stretched wide,
    As quick to laugh as a duck to swim;
  Whatever you say or whatever you do,
  He'll answer you back with a chuckle or two.

  Laughing from mornin' till night, it seems,
    Just chock full of the gift o' fun,
  An' the angels send him their comic dreams
    So's he can grin for 'em every one,
  An' his grandma says when he laughs her down,
  He's the disrespectfullest boy in town.

  Laughed at the prayer that the preacher spoke
    The night Ma asked him to come for tea;
  Seemed to think it was all a joke,
    An' he actually winked his eye at me.
  His ears are keen an' his mind is quick
  An' his grin is ready for every trick.

  "What'll we do?" says Ma to me,
    "With a boy like that who won't behave?"
  An' I answer back: "We'll let him be.
    Old folks' faces are far too grave,
  An' it's good for us all to have the joy
  An' the rollickin' mirth of a laughin' boy."



  _Apples Ripe for Eating_

  Apples ripe for eating, and the grate fire blazing high,
  And outside the moon of autumn fairly swimming in the sky;
  The cellar packed with good things from the vine and field
      and tree--
  Oh, the speech of man can't tell it, but it somehow seems to me
  With such warmth and cheer around us, we should all burst
      into song
  And store enough of gladness now to last our whole lives long.

  Apples ripe for eating--there's a joy beyond compare
  To pay for all our trouble and the burdens we must bear!
  The bowl upon the table filled with round and rosy cheeks,
  And enough down in the cellar to last all the winter weeks,
  So that when the bowl is empty we can fill it up again--
  And in spite of that we grumble and we bitterly complain.

  I sometimes sit and wonder as we pack life's fruits away
  And hoard them in the cellar for the bleak and wintry day,
  Why the mind of man has never tried to store a stock of cheer
  In the cellar of his memory for the barren time of year,
  So that when joy's bowl is emptied and he thinks that life
      is vain,
  He can seek his hoard of pleasures and just fill it up again.

  Apples ripe for eating and a stock of them below
  For the long cold nights of winter we shall shortly come
      to know,
  So that when we need a pleasure that will seem to soothe
      the soul
  We can wander to the cellar and fill up the apple bowl;
  So we could, if we were mindful, when our hearts with
      grief are sad,
  Refresh our faltering courage with the pleasures we have had.



  _When There's Company for Tea_

  When there's company for tea
  Things go mighty hard with me;
  Got to sit an' wait an' wait
  Till the last guest's cleaned his plate,
  An' I mustn't ask Ma what
  Kind of pie it is she's got,
  Mustn't crunch my napkin up
  Or dip cookies in my cup.

  When there's company for tea
  Home don't seem like home to me;
  Got to wash my ears an' neck
  Till they do not show a speck;
  Got to brush my hair an' then
  Got to change my waist again,
  Then walk slowly down stairs an'
  Try to be a gentleman.

  When there's company for tea
  Ma spends hours instructing me
  How to eat an' what to say,
  An' I can't go out to play
  When I've finished, but must stay
  Till Ma whispers: "Now you may!"
  Sittin' still is not much fun
  When you've got your supper done.

  When there's company for tea,
  Then the servant waits on me
  Last instead of first, an' I
  Mustn't talk when she comes by;
  If the boys outside should call,
  I don't answer 'em at all;
  You'd never know that it was me
  When there's company for tea.



  _When I Get Home_

  When I get home at night they run
    To meet me down the street;
  The duties of the day are done
    And joy is mine to meet.
  Here is a welcome warm and true,
  Worth every task a man can do.

  I stoop to catch them in my arms
    And nestle face to face;
  The finest of this old world's charms
    Is naught to this embrace;
  Thus to be greeted, I declare,
  Is worth a thousand years of care.

  The toiling of the day is o'er,
    No more I need to roam,
  They shout this through the open door:
    "Oh, Mother!  Daddy's home!"
  Who would not toil where engines hiss
  To earn so glad an hour as this?

  When I get home at night and see
    The little place aglow
  With love and laughter all for me,
    The table set just so,
  I tell myself, just one glad smile
  Makes all the care of day worth while.

  Oh, we have grieved and we have wept
    And bitter were our tears,
  Yet when the long faith we have kept
    Through all the lonely years,
  There will be glad souls in the gloam
  To welcome us when we get home.



  _Living with the People_

  Living with the people, the good, the brave,
      the strong,
  Glad to pass the time of day with all who come
      along.
  Lord, it's good to meet Your children as they
      trudge life's thoroughfare,
  And learn the hopes they cherish and the dreams
      they see out there.

  Living with the people here upon the kindly earth,
  And finding in the strangest garb the messengers
      of mirth,
  For many a stirring tale of life the passer-by
      can tell,
  And every man is worth your while if but you
      know him well.

  Living with the people, the rich, the poor, the wise,
  The same breeze blowing over them, the same sun
      in their eyes;
  And this you learn from high and low, throughout
      life's stretch of years,
  We're brothers in the joys we take and brothers
      in our tears.

  I'm sorry for the haughty man who holds his head in air,
  And passes by in cold disdain the garbs of toil and care,
  For though he may be rich and great, 'tis lonely he
      must live,
  He misses all the glorious joys his fellows have to give.

  Oh, walk with them and talk with them and hear the tales
      they tell,
  The passers-by would be your friends if but you knew them well.
  The children of the Lord are they, and as they come and go,
  There is not one among them all that is not good to know.



  _The Carving Knife_

  When I was but a little lad, my father carved what meat we had;
    With grace and skill he'd cut and slice the roast of beef
      or veal,
  With dexterous hand he'd wield the blade, no false or awkward
        move he made,
    And deftly he could whet the knife upon his shining steel.
  But now and then I'd hear him say: "Who's used my carving
      knife today?
    What woman's used this blade of mine for cutting wire or tin?"
  And on this special point he'd harp: "a carving weapon must
      be sharp,
    Or one can never cut a roast and have the slices thin."

  "That knife must not be used on string, or bread or boards
      or anything--
    Hands off my carving blade," he'd cry, and yet I grieve to say,
  In spite of all his warnings grim, the women paid no heed to him,
    They used his sacred carving knife a dozen times a day.
  They'd use that knife for cutting soap, old carpets, leather
        belts and rope,
    They'd use it too, for pulling tacks and leave it dulled
      and nicked,
  And every time a meal began, my father was an angry man,
    But vain was every oath he swore and every kick he kicked.

  Now like my good old dad I stand, and take the carving
      knife in hand
    And run my thumb along its edge and find it dulled and nicked,
  And like my good old dad I vow some day there'll be a
      healthy row,
    But I'm as unsuccessful as my father when he kicked.
  The maid, the youngsters and the wife still take that sacred
        carving knife
    And use it as a handy tool on wood or lead or stone;
  In spite of all I do or say, the blade is dulled from day
      to day,
    I cannot get the women folks to leave that knife alone!



  _Take a Boy Along With You_

  Take a boy along with you
  And you'll learn before you're through
  That this world is full of wonders
    You'd forgotten all about;
  Song birds nesting in a tree
  That you pass and never see,
  Strange and curious mysteries
    The lad keeps pointing out.

  He will question how and why,
  With his bright and eager eye
  He'll discover curious sights
    All along the way;
  He'll show novelties to you
  Which were hidden from your view,
  And will fill with ecstasy
    Just a common day.

  What to you is dull and old,
  He will wonderingly behold,
  Marvelous your dreary world
    Will appear to him;
  And at every bend and turn
  From that youngster you will learn
  Just how much a man may miss
    When his eyes grow dim.

  Who should say the world is bare,
  Commonplace and filled with care?
  Tired age may utter this,
    Blinded to its joy;
  Sage and cynic, grown severe,
  May have lost the magic here,
  But the world is glorious
    To a little boy.

  If you fancy life is just
  Bearing burdens, as you must,
  City streets and buildings tall
    And the moving throng,
  If you've lost the power to see
  Splendors as they used to be,
  Some day when you're starting out
    Take a boy along.



  _When the Soap Gets in Your Eye_

  My father says that I ought to be
  A man when anything happens to me.
  An' he says that a man will take a blow
  An' never let on it hurts him so;
  He'll grit his teeth an' he'll set his chin
  An' bear his pain with a manly grin.
  But I'll bet that the bravest man would cry
  If ever the soap gets into his eye.

  I'm brave enough when I'm playin' ball,
  An' I can laugh when I've had a fall.
  With the girls around I'd never show
  That I was scared if the blood should flow
  From my banged up nose or a battered knee.
  As brave as the bravest I can be,
  But it's different pain, an' I don't know why,
  Whenever the soap gets into your eye.

  I can set my teeth an' I can grin
  When I scrape my cheek or I bark my shin,
  An' once I fell from our apple tree
  An' the wind was knocked right out of me,
  But I never cried an' the gang all said
  That they thought for sure I was really dead.
  But it's worse than thinking you're going to die
  Whenever the soap gets into your eye.

  When your mother's holding your neck, and you
  Couldn't get away if you wanted to,
  An' she's latherin' hard with her good right hand,
  It's more than the bravest man could stand.
  If you open your mouth to howl, you get
  A taste of the wash rag, cold and wet,
  But you got to yell till your face gets dry
  Whenever the soap gets into your eye.



  "_Our Little House_"

  I'd like to have them think of me
  As one with whom they liked to be;
  I'd like to make my home so fair
  That they would all be happy there;
  To have them think, when life is done,
  That here they had their finest fun.

  Within these walls with love aglow,
  They live to-morrow's "Long Ago."
  Nor is the time so far away
  When now shall be their yesterday,
  And they shall turn once more to see
  The little home which used to be.

  When comes that time I want them then
  To wish they could be here again;
  I want their memories to be
  A picture of a kindly me,
  To have them say how very glad
  Their youthful lives were made by dad.

  I want them to recall this place
  As one of charm and tender grace,
  To love these walls of calm content
  Wherein their youthful years were spent,
  And feel through each succeeding year,
  They lived their happiest moments here.

  I feel I shall have failed unless
  This house shall shelter happiness.
  Save they shall find their truest mirth
  Around their father's humble hearth,
  And here life's finest joys attain,
  I shall have lived my life in vain.



  _Spring Fever_

  When the blue gets back in the skies once more
  And the vines grow green 'round the kitchen door,
  When the roses bud and the robins come,
  I stretch myself and I say: "Ho-hum!
  I ought to work but I guess I won't;
  Though some want riches to-day, I don't;
  This looks to me like the sort of day
  That was made to idle and dream away."

  When the sun is high and the air just right,
  With the trees all blossomy, pink and white,
  And the grass, as soft as a feather bed
  With the white clouds drifting just overhead,
  I stretch and yawn like a school boy then,
  And turn away from the walks of men
  And tell myself in a shamefaced way:
  "I'm going to play hookey from work to-day!"

  "Here is a morning too rare to miss,
  And what is gold to a day like this,
  And what is fame to the things I'll see
  Through the lattice-work of a fine old tree?
  There is work to do, but the work can wait;
  There are goals to reach, there are foes to hate,
  There are hurtful things which the smart might say,
  But nothing like that shall spoil to-day."

  "To-day I'll turn from the noisy town
  And just put all of my burdens down;
  I'll quit the world and its common sense,
  And the things men think are of consequence,
  To chum with birds and the friendly trees
  And try to fathom their mysteries,
  For here is a day which looks to be
  The kind I can fritter away on me."



  _Father Song_

  It's oh, my little laddie, as you're romping
      at your play
  There's an old heart running with you every
      minute of the day;
  And though you cannot see me when you're wrapped
      up in a game,
  But it's I that am beside you in your striving
      just the same.

  It is oh, my little laddie, there is much you
      cannot know,
  But it's I that follow proudly everywhere you chance
      to go;
  There's a hand upon your shoulder, wheresoever you
      may be,
  That would help you out of danger, and that hand
      belongs to me.

  It is oh, my little laddie, though you cannot hear
      me call,
  I am always there to help you every time you chance
      to fall;
  I am with you in the school room and I'm with you
      on the street,
  And though you may not know it, I am dogging at your feet.

  It's oh, my little laddie, all my life belongs to you,
  All the dreams that I have cherished through the years
      depend on you;
  And though now you cannot know it, you shall some day
      come to see
  How this old heart loved to hover 'round a boy that
      used to be.



  _The Boy_

  A possible man of affairs,
    A possible leader of men,
  Back of the grin that he wears
    There may be the courage of ten;
  Lawyer or merchant or priest,
    Artist or singer of joy,
  This, when his strength is increased,
    Is what may become of the boy.

  Heedless and mischievous now,
    Spending his boyhood in play,
  Yet glory may rest on his brow
    And fame may exalt him some day;
  A skill that the world shall admire,
    Strength that the world shall employ
  And faith that shall burn as a fire,
    Are what may be found in the boy.

  He with the freckles and tan,
    He with that fun-loving grin,
  May rise to great heights as a man
    And many a battle may win;
  Back of the slang of the streets
    And back of the love of a toy,
  It may be a Great Spirit beats--
    Lincoln once played as a boy.

  Trace them all back to their youth,
    All the great heroes we sing,
  Seeking and serving the Truth,
    President, poet and king,
  Washington, Caesar and Paul,
    Homer who sang about Troy,
  Jesus, the Greatest of all,
    Each in his time was a boy.



  _I Don't Want to Go to Bed_

  World wide over this is said:
  "I don't want to go to bed."
  Dads and mothers, far and near,
  Every night this chorus hear;
  Makes no difference where they are,
  Here or off in Zanzibar,
  In the igloos made of snow
  Of the fur-clad Eskimo,
  In this blistering torrid zone,
  This one touch of nature's known;
  In life's various tongues it's said:
  "I don't want to go to bed!"

  This has ever been the way
  Of the youngsters at their play.
  Laughter quickly dries their tears,
  Trouble swiftly disappears,
  Joy is everywhere about,
  Here and there and in and out;
  Yet when night comes on they cry
  That so glad a day should die,
  And they think that they will miss
  Something more of precious bliss,
  So shouts every curly-head:
  "I don't want to go to bed!"

  Age is glad to put away
  All the burdens of the day,
  Glad to lay the worries down,
  Quit the noises of the town,
  And in slumber end the care
  That has met them here and there.
  But the children do not know
  Life is freighted down with woe;
  They would run until they drop,
  Hoping day would never stop,
  Calling back when it has fled:
  "I don't want to go to bed."



  _Morning Brigands_

  There may be happier times than this,
    But if there are I've never known them,
  When youngsters jump in bed to kiss
    And wake the pa's and ma's who own them.
  What if the sun be up or not,
    Another perfect day is dawning,
  And is it not a happy lot
    With such delight to greet the morning?

  Sometimes I hear them quit their bed
    And catch their bare-foot pitter-patter,
  And other times they're at my head
    Before I know what is the matter.
  Brigands to rob us of our sleep
    They come--their weapons love and laughter,
  And though we're locked in slumber deep,
    They always get the joy they're after.

  Some days there are when we would lie
    And dream our dreams a little longer,
  Then "back to bed awhile," we cry--
    But oh, our love for them is stronger,
  Yes, stronger than our wish to sleep
    And so we countermand the order
  And let that pair of brigands leap
    With wild delight across love's border.

  There may be happier times than this,
    But if there are I've never known them,
  When youngsters jump in bed to kiss
    And wake the pa's and ma's who own them.
  They miss a lot, the man and wife
    Who never feel those glad hands shake them,
  Who rise by day to toil and strife,
    But have no little tots to wake them.



  _Grief's Only Master_

  Into the lives of all
  The tears of sorrow fall.
  Into the happiest hearts
  Grief drives her darts;
  No door however stout
  Can shut Death's angel out.

  Vain are the things we prize,
  Treasure and pomp's disguise;
  They cannot stay the tear
  When the true griefs appear.
  Where Death will strike to-day
  Gold cannot bar the way.

  There is no joy secure,
  No peace that shall endure,
  No smile that man shall keep.
  God wills that he must weep,
  And in his darkest hour
  Vain is all earthly power.

  What, then, should guard the gate?
  How shall a man be great?
  Through the dark days and long,
  What power shall make him strong?
  Wherein does courage lie,
  Since all he loves must die?

  When sorrow binds his hands,
  Helpless the strong man stands.
  One master only grief
  Bows to, and that's belief--
  Faith that he'll some day know
  Why God hath willed it so!



  INDEX OF FIRST LINES


  A fairy and a robin met
  A lilac bush is a lovely thing
  A little braver when the skies are gray
  Always seeing the funny side
  A possible man of affairs
  Apples ripe for eating, and the grate fire blazing high
  A yellow crocus bloomed to-day

  Behind full many a gift there lies
  Bill and I went fishing
  Bill and Jim drove into town
  Bill is a mushroom expert

  Day after day the clock in the tower
  Dishes to wash and clothes to mend
  Down the lanes of August
  Dresses high and dresses low

  From newsboy to the millionaire

  Giuseppe Tomassi ees stylisha chap
  Give me a book and my cozy chair

  He'd been delivering a load of coal
  He must come back a better man
  Here is where the blows are struck
  "Here's how I figure it out," says he
  High chair days are best of all
  His eye was wild and his face was taut
  How many times we've said good night

  I am not much at the game
  I cherish the picture of a man
  I'd like to have them think of me
  I'd rather fancied it would come
  I envy him his care-free way
  If it's worth while, then it's worth a few blows
  If I were a boss I would like to say
  If I were sending my boy afar
  I have to wash myself at night
  I'll tell you it's a problem, when a youngster's nine
  I met him in a college town
  I mustn't forget that I'm getting old--
  Into the lives of all
  I stood upon the coping of the tallest building.
  It happened that I came along as school was letting out
  "It is all for the best," so they said
  It seemed an unimportant task
  It's Oh, my little laddie, as you're romping
  It's wanting keeps us young and fit
  It was a little yellow dog
  It wasn't too much work for her in the days of long ago
  It was thick with Prussian troopers
  I used to want a lovely lawn
  I've eaten chicken a la king
  "I will gather some flowers for our friend"
  I would not, if I could, recall some customs

  Jimmie McBride was a common sense lad
  Last night the baby cried

  Let others sing in modern ways, it's joy enough for me
  Let's be brave when the laughter dies
  Living with the people, the good, the brave, the strong

  My father says that I ought to be a man
  My son, beware of "good enough"

  Nellie made a cup of tea

  October and the crimsoned trees
  Our friends have automobiles now
  Over the crib where the baby lies

  Pa never gets a story straight
  Peter's the fellow I go to whenever Paul presses his claim

  She wasn't hungry, so she said
  Since Pa put in the radio
  Sit here on my knee, little girl, and I'll tell a story
  Some folks pray for a boy
  Stick to it, boy

  Take a boy along with you
  Taking medicine to-day isn't what it used to be
  Teach the children of the Flag
  Tender, gentle, brave and true
  The hills are in the mist to-day
  The houses of the rich folks are very fine to see
  The little clothes line by the kitchen door
  The ordinary fellow does an ordinary task
  The other night 'bout two o'clock
  The postman whistled down the street
  There is a reason, I suppose, for every thing.
  There is a song in every thing
  There isn't any pay for you, you serve without reward
  There is one critic a man should heed
  There is so much that we can do
  There may be happier times than this
  There's a smile on the face of the mother to-day
  There's never frost nor blight nor weeds
  The road lay straight before him but the by-paths smiled at him
  The time I played with Vardon
  The white oak keeps its leaves till spring
  They found the great stone rolled away
  They laughed when I came home last night
  They put his spotless surplice on
  They're waiting for us over there
  This is the tale of a mortgage and a dead man
  To-day, if I were free, I think I'd wander

  Used to think I'd like to go

  We found the car beneath a tree
  We nodded as we passed each day
  We've had a lot of visitors, it seems
  When all is said and done
  When I get home at night they run to meet me
  When I was but a little lad, my father carved
  When melancholy rides the sky
  When Pa came home last night
  When the blue gets back in the skies once more
  When there's company for tea
  Where is the road to Arcady
  Who's dat knockin' at de do'
  Wife o' Mine, day after day
  Winters are not what they used to be
  World wide over this is said

  You know your mother--that's plain as day
  You shall wonder as you meet
  You would take my girl away





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