The Neighborly Man

Recently I started reading a book titled EMBRACING OBSCURITY. The author, Anonymous, writes about how, in today's society, we're apt to feel we must be a SOMEBODY if we want to count at all. I haven't read far, but I gather he's saying we need to abandon dreams of being Big Names and settle for  being ordinary people. As Edgar Guest aspires to in this verse...
The Neighborly Man

Some are eager to be famous, some are striving to be great,
some are toiling to be leaders of their nation or their state,
and in every man’s ambition, if we only understood,
there is much that’s fine and splendid; every hope is mostly good.
So I cling unto the notion that contented I will be
if the men upon life’s pathway find a needed friend in me.

I rather like to putter ‘round the walks and yards of life,
to spray at night the roses that are burned and browned with strife;
to eat a frugal dinner, but always to have a chair
for the unexpected stranger that my simple meal would share.
I don’t care to be a traveler, I would rather be the one
sitting calmly by the roadside helping weary travelers on.

I’d like to be a neighbor in the good old-fashioned way,
finding much to do for others, but not over much to say.
I like to read the papers, but I do not years to see
what the journal of the morning has been moved to say of me;
in the silences and shadows I would live my life and die
and depend for fond remembrance on some grateful passers-by.

I guess I wasn’t fashioned for the brilliant things of earth,
wasn’t gifted much with talent or designed for special worth,
but was just sent here to putter with life’s little odds and ends
and keep a simple corner where the stirring highway bends,
and if folks should chance to linger, warn and weary through the day,
to do some needed service and to cheer them on their way.

From his book,  Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company
Image from Pixabay

Who Has It Better?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning is ENVY. American poet Edgar Guest had some wise thoughts on this subject and many of his verses speak of being content, so I’m going to post a couple today.
Here’s the first…

THE OTHER FELLOW

Whose luck is better far than ours?
The other fellow’s.
Whose road seems always lined with flowers?
The other fellow’s.
Who is the man who seems to get
Most joy in life, with least regret,
Who always seems to win his bet?
The other fellow.

Who fills the place we think we’d like?
The other fellow.
Whom does good fortune always strike?
The other fellow.
Whom do we envy, day by day?
Who has more time than we to play?
Who is it, when we mourn, seems gay?
The other fellow.

Who seems to miss the thorns we find?
Th other fellow.
Who seems to leave us all behind?
The other fellow.
Who never seems to feel the woe,
The anguish and the pain we know?
Who gets the best seats at the show?
The other fellow.

And yet, my friend, who envies you?
The other fellow.
Who thinks he gathers only rue?
The other fellow.
Who sighs because he thinks that he
Would infinitely happier be,
If he could be like you or me?
The other fellow.

From his book JUST FOLKS
copyright 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co.

Relaxing at Home

Part of the Christmas story we never hear:
“And when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem, their camels finally got a much needed break.”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt yesterday was BREATHLESS and today it’s RELAX.

I trust you folks who’ve been rushing around breathlessly getting ready for family gatherings and/or tying up year-end duties at the workplace will soon be able to kick back and relax.

I have nothing original to say about these prompt words, but I do have this poem by Edgar Guest. I’m very fond of it myself.

NO PLACE TO GO

The happiest nights I ever know
are those when I’ve no place to go,
and the missus says
when the day is through, 
“Tonight we haven’t a thing to do.

Oh, the joy of it– and the peace untold
of sitting ‘round in my slippers old,
with my pipe and book
in my easy chair,
knowing I needn’t go anywhere.

Needn’t hurry my evening meal
nor force the smiles I do not feel,
but can grab a book
from a nearby shelf,
drop all sham and be myself.

Oh, the charm of it and the comfort rare;
nothing on earth that can compare!
And I’m sorry for him
who doesn’t know
the joy of having no place to go.

by Edgar A Guest
Image by S-wloczyk-2 at Pixabay

Home Joys

Many people have written about the joys of coming home, of rediscovering the treasures you were taking for granted, and one wise writer once declared that “HOME” is the nicest word. Yes, it was great to visit dear friends elsewhere, but now we are home again, and very glad to be here. 🙂

The Joy of Getting Home

by Edgar A. Guest

The joy of getting home again
is the sweetest thrill I know.
Though travelers by ship or train
are smiling when they go,
the eye is never quite so bright,
the smile so wide and true,
as when they pass the last home light
and all their wandering’s through.

Oh, I have journeyed down to sea
and traveled far by rail,
but naught was quite so fair to me
as that last homeward trail.
Oh, nothing was in London town,
or Paris gay, or Rome
with all its splendor and renown
so good to see as home.

‘Tis good to take these lovely trips,
‘tis good to get away,
there’s pleasure found on sailing ships,
but travel as you may
you’ll learn as most of us have learned,
wherever you may roam,
you’re happiest when your face is turned
toward the lights of home.

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

Morning View

Sunrise

by Edgar Guest

Today I saw the sun come up, like Neptune from the sea;
I saw him light a cliff with gold and wake a distant tree.
I saw him shake his shaggy head and laugh the night away
and toss unto a sleeping world another golden day.

The waves, which had been black and cold, came in with silver crests;
I saw the sunbeams gently wake the song birds in their nests.
The slow-retreating night slipped back and, strewn on field and lawn,
on every blade of grass I saw the jewels of the dawn.

Never was a monarch ushered in with such a cavalcade,
no hero bringing victory home has seen such wealth displayed.
In honor of the coming day the humblest plant and tree
stood on the curbstone of the world in radiant livery.

Pageants of splendor man may plan, with robes of burnished gold;
on horses from Arabia may prance the knight of old;
heralds on silver horns may blow, and kings come riding in,
but I have seen God’s pageantry — I’ve watched a day begin!

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

Image by Pexels — Pixabay

Beauty Rises Again

A Summer Day

by Edgar Guest

Blue in the sky and green in the tree
and a bird singing anthems of gladness for me,
a breeze soft and fair
as a little girl’s hair,
with nothing that’s ugly or base anywhere.
A world that’s swept clean
of the doubtful and mean,
with nowhere a hint of the care that has been.

I stand at my gate with the sun in my face,
and I thank the good Lord for such beauty and grace.
Time was, I declare,
when the snows drifted there,
and those boughs with their blossoms were ugly and bare.
Now the sin and the wrong
of the cold days and long
are lost in life’s splendor of sunshine and song.

God makes it all right in good time, I believe –
we doubt when we’re troubled, we doubt when we grieve;
like a stark, barren tree
looms the wrong which we see.
Hurt, anguish and care hide the splendor to be
but at last from the pain
rises beauty again,
and there’s never a bough that has suffered in vain.

Perhaps at the last, ‘neath a lovelier sun,
when the anguish and hurt of life’s growing is done,
we may rise from our pain
showing never a stain
of the cares of the years which fell on us like rain.
When the soul is set free
all the flaws we now see
may be lost in the joy of the new life to be.

From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company