The Song of Enough

by Edgar A Guest

I’m getting along, with a bit of a song
and a bit of a smile for my neighbor.
I’ve managed to grin, with the little I win
day by day as the bit from my labor.

Time was in the past I stood often aghast
as the storms of despair swept around me
but my ship, although small, bravely weathered them all
and nothing I’ve dreaded has downed me.

I’ve not had the luck which some others have struck;
I’ve neither been famous nor wealthy,
but I’ve always had meat when I wanted to eat
and I thank the good Lord I’ve been healthy.

Some things I have missed on the millionaire’s list,
but the friends I have made have been true ones;
I have always had suits, shirts and neckties and boots
though I couldn’t afford many new ones.

I’m getting along , just as one of the throng.
Day by day I have worked for my money;
but in spite of the care and the burdens I bear
I’ve supped of life’s nectar and honey.

My house isn’t large, but love has it in charge
and in peace and contentment I dwell there,
and all men I defy to be happier than I
when a friend puts his hand to the bell there.

I’m getting along, with a bit of a song
for I’ve learned what I knew not at twenty,
that enough for each day—with a bit put away
for the cares of my old age—is plenty.

I have eaten and slept, and at times I have wept,
I’ve done all that the Lord lets a man do;
I’ve made friends on the way, and I venture to say
that is all that the richest man can do.

From his book, The Light of Faith
©1926 by The Reilly & Lee Co.

An Angelic-Looking Lad

My response to the Word of the Day prompt: BRAVADO

THE CHOIR BOY

by Edgar Guest

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 on 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 know he’s not an angel bright,
but just some healthy boy.

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

A Carefree Creature

As my response to the Ragtag daily prompt: FREEDOM
with a nod to Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day: NONCHALANT

I offer this poem about this carefree toad:

The Happy Toad

by Edgar Guest

As I was walking down the road
I met an ugly, grinning toad,
who squatted in the shade and said:
“I never wish that I were dead.
Wherever I may chance to stray
I find rich food along the way;
I have no dreams I can’t fulfill;
I owe no other toad a bill.
In slimy places I abide
but with them I am satisfied.
My little children I forsook
as tadpoles in a nearby brook;
I know not where they are, nor care.
I have no burdens I must bear.
At night I never lie awake.
My bitterest enemy is the snake.
I have no taxes, no beliefs,
no cares, ambitions, hopes or griefs;
no clothes to buy, no cash to lose,
no tools that I must learn to use.
I sing no dirges, tell no jokes.
I’m just a jumping toad who croaks;
contented, placid, happy I
shall be until the day I die.”
~~~
Yet as I trudged along the road
I thought, “Who wants to be a toad?”
From his book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co

Toad

The Broken Drum

Drum

THE BROKEN DRUM

by Edgar Guest

There is sorrow in the household;
there’s a grief too hard to bear;
there’s a little cheek that’s tear-stained
there’s a sobbing baby there.
And try how we will to comfort,
still the tiny teardrops come;
for – to solve a vexing problem–
Curly Locks has wrecked his drum.

It had puzzled him and worried,
how the drum created sound;
for he couldn’t understand it.
It was not enough to pound
with his tiny hands and drumsticks
and at last the day has come
when another hope is shattered,
now in ruins lies his drum.

With his metal bank he broke it,
tore the tightened skin aside,
gazed on vacant space bewildered,
then he broke right down and cried.
For the broken bubble shocked him
and the baby tears must come;
now a joy has gone forever;
Curly Locks has wrecked his drum.

While his mother tries to soothe him
I am sitting here alone.
In the life that lies behind me
many shocks like that I’ve known.
And the boy who’s upstairs weeping
in the years that are to come
will learn that many pleasures
are as empty as his drum.

From the book Just Folks,
by Edgar A. Guest
© 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co.

My response to the Ragtag Daily Prompt: CHALLENGE

I really enjoy prompt words like this; they can call up such a variety of responses!

The Comfort of A Garden

IN THE GARDEN

by Edgar Guest

I sometimes get weary of people
and weary of being polite;
I sometimes grow tired of the dull man,
and sometimes am bored by the bright.
And then when my nerves are a-tingle,
I walk in the yard that is ours,
And I thank the good Lord for the comfort
of songbirds and blue skies and flowers.

I never grow tired of the martens
which circle about overhead;
I never grow weary of robins —
there is nothing about them I dread.
I smile when I see them returning,
I sigh when at last they depart,
and perhaps it’s because they are never
vindictive or petty or smart.

And the trees don’t expect to be talked to.
I can lie there and dream in the shade
and not have to think up an answer
to some dreary question that’s made.
So I often slip into my garden
when I’m weary of hearing things said,
and thank the good Lord for my roses
and trees and the birds overhead.

.Walk-edged-daylilies
From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

My Response to Fandango’s FOWC prompt: COMFORTABLE

Circus Memories

by Edgar A Guest

Oh, never comes the circus with its wonders into town
but I recall a little boy who longed to be a clown,
and high above the heads of all an acrobat I see
that little lad of long ago was hopeful he would be.

No care had he for words that rhyme. A more entrancing thing
was jumping on and off a horse within a sawdust ring.
And all the verses ever penned he’d gladly trade back then
to be the spangled hero in the roaring lions’ den.

There was a riding lady in a fluffy skirt of pink
who might have lured this little boy away from printer’s ink,
but destiny or fortune or the fates – or was it Dad? –
contrived to change the life-work of this circus-dreaming lad.

He would not now retrace his steps. Through eyes now growing dim
he sees an acrobat’s career would not have done for him.
But still when bands are playing and the circus barkers shout
a little boy of fifty-one walks wide-eyed round about.

From his book, Along Life’s Highway
©1933 by the Reilly & Lee Company

My response to the Word of the Day Challenge: REJUVENATE

A Man She’s Not Keen On

Deer heads

TROPHIES
by Edgar Guest

There’s a moose head in the hall,
and a dead fish on the wall,
a stuffed owl on the mantelpiece,
and birds in a shining case.
There’s an antlered deer upstairs,
and a mounted fox which shares
with a partridge prone at its wily feet
a nice mahogany base.

There’s a maid each morn who must
go round the rooms to dust,
and day by day on her weary face,
there is ever a dismal scowl.
And this is the song she sings:
“Dead deers are dreadful things!
And I hate fish on a shining board
and the wings of a mounted owl!
Fish mounted

“Oh, if ever a man I wed,
may he care for books instead
of moose and mountain goats and deer
and ducks in a glassy dome.
May his hobby be postage stamps
instead of the Northern camps.
For I’ve had my fill of dusting things
which a hunting man brings home.”

Owl head

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My response to RAGTAG prompt word for today: KEEN