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A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest

A Heap o' Livin'

by

Edgar A. Guest

To Marjorie and Buddy this little book of verse is affectionately dedicated by their Daddy

{11}

WHEN YOU KNOW A FELLOW

When you get to know a fellow, know his joys and know his cares, When you've come to understand him and the burdens that he bears, When you've learned the fight he's making and the troubles in his way, Then you find that he is different than you thought him yesterday. You find his faults are trivial and there's not so much to blame In the brother that you jeered at when you only knew his name.

You are quick to see the blemish in the distant neighbor's style, You can point to all his errors and may sneer at him the while, And your prejudices fatten and your hates more violent grow As you talk about the failures of the man you do not know, But when drawn a little closer, and your hands and shoulders touch, You find the traits you hated really don't amount to much.

When you get to know a fellow, know his every mood and whim, You begin to find the texture of the splendid side of him; You begin to understand him, and you cease to scoff and sneer, For with understanding always prejudices disappear. You begin to find his virtues and his faults you cease to tell, For you seldom hate a fellow when you know him very well.

When next you start in sneering and your phrases turn to blame, Know more of him you censure than his business and his name; For it's likely that acquaintance would your prejudice dispel And you'd really come to like him if you knew him very well. When you get to know a fellow and you understand his ways, Then his faults won't really matter, for you'll find a lot to praise.

{13}

THE ROUGH LITTLE RASCAL

A smudge on his nose and a smear on his cheek And knees that might not have been washed in a week; A bump on his forehead, a scar on his lip, A relic of many a tumble and trip: A rough little, tough little rascal, but sweet, Is he that each evening I'm eager to meet.

A brow that is beady with jewels of sweat; A face that's as black as a visage can get; A suit that at noon was a garment of white, Now one that his mother declares is a fright: A fun-loving, sun-loving rascal, and fine, Is he that comes placing his black fist in mine.

A crop of brown hair that is tousled and tossed; A waist from which two of the buttons are lost; A smile that shines out through the dirt and the grime, And eyes that are flashing delight all the time: All these are the joys that I'm eager to meet And look for the moment I get to my street.

{14}

IT ISN'T COSTLY

Does the grouch get richer quicker than the friendly sort of man? Can the grumbler labor better than the cheerful fellow can? Is the mean and churlish neighbor any cleverer than the one Who shouts a glad "good morning," and then smiling passes on?


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