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A Heap O' Livin' by Edgar A. Guest

But I stick to it when My Paw said so


Oh, once I heard all the calls that come to the quick, glad ears of boys, And a certain spot on the river bank told me of its many joys, And certain fields and certain trees were loyal friends to me, And I knew the birds, and I owned a dog, and we both could hear and see. Oh, never from tongues of men have dropped such messages wholly glad As the things that live in the great outdoors once told to a little lad.

And I'm sorry for him who cannot hear what the tall trees have to say, Who is deaf to the call of a running stream and the lanes that lead to play. The boy that shins up the faithful elm or sprawls on a river bank Is more richly blessed with the joys of life than any old man of rank. For youth is the golden time of life, and this battered old heart of mine Beats fast to the march of its old-time joys, when the sun begins to shine.

{80}

MY PAW SAID SO

Foxes can talk if you know how to listen, My Paw said so. Owls have big eyes that sparkle an' glisten, My Paw said so. Bears can turn flip-flaps an' climb ellum trees, An' steal all the honey away from the bees, An' they never mind winter becoz they don't freeze; My Paw said so.

Girls is a-scared of a snake, but boys ain't,

My Paw said so. They holler an' run; an' sometimes they faint, My Paw said so. But boys would be 'shamed to be frightened that way When all that the snake wants to do is to play; You've got to believe every word that I say, My Paw said so.

Wolves ain't so bad if you treat 'em all right, My Paw said so. They're as fond of a game as they are of a fight, My Paw said so. An' all of the animals found in the wood Ain't always ferocious. Most times they are good.

The trouble is mostly they're misunderstood, My Paw said so. You can think what you like, but I stick to it when My Paw said so. An' I'll keep right on sayin', again an' again, My Paw said so. Maybe foxes don't talk to such people as you, An' bears never show you the tricks they can do, But I know that the stories I'm tellin' are true, My Paw said so.

{81}

PREPAREDNESS

Right must not live in idleness, Nor dwell in smug content; It must be strong, against the throng Of foes, on evil bent.

Justice must not a weakling be But it must guard its own, And live each day, that none can say Justice is overthrown.

Peace, the sweet glory of the world, Faces a duty, too; Death is her fate, leaves she one gate For war to enter through.

{82}

THE PEACEFUL WARRIORS

Let others sing their songs of war And chant their hymns of splendid death, Let others praise the soldiers' ways And hail the cannon's flaming breath. Let others sing of Glory's fields Where blood for Victory is paid, I choose to sing some simple thing To those who wield not gun or blade-- The peaceful warriors of trade.

Let others choose the deeds of war For symbols of our nation's skill, The blood-red coat, the rattling throat, The regiment that charged the hill, The boy who died to serve the flag, Who heard the order and obeyed, But leave to me the gallantry Of those who labor unafraid-- The peaceful warriors of trade.


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