My favorite Edgar A Guest poems
Edgar lived in early 1900's Detroit and he was a pretty great poet. He was Michigan's one and only poet laureate. I recently read (ok I skimmed some of them) all of his poems that are available on Project Gutenberg. Here are some excerpts of my favorites . Poor formatting is Li.st's fault.
- •HOW DO YOU TACKLE YOUR WORK?You can do as much as you think you can, But you'll never accomplish more; If you're afraid of yourself, young man, There's little for you in store. For failure comes from the inside first, It's there if we only knew it, And you can win, though you face the worst, If you feel that you're going to do it.
- •The Old, Old StoryIt is my luck always to strike A day when there is nothing doing, When neither perch nor bass nor pike My baited hooks will come a-wooing. Must I a day late always be? When not a nibble comes my way Must someone always say to me: "We caught a bunch here yesterday"? I am not prone to discontent Nor over-zealous now to climb; ... But I should like just once to go Out fishing on some lake or bay And not have someone mutter: "Oh you should have been here yesterday"
- •Spring in the trenchesLast year the mother in the door was glad as she could be; To-day her heart is full of pain, and mine is hurting me. But it's shoot, shoot, shoot, And when the bullets hiss, Don't let the tears fill up your eyes, For weeping soldiers miss. Oh, who will tend the roses now and who will sow the seeds? And who will do the heavy work the little garden needs? And who will tell the lad of mine the things he wants to know, And take his hand and lead him round the paths we used to go?
- •All for the bestThings mostly happen for the best. However hard it seems to-day, When some fond plan has gone astray Or what you've wished for most is lost An' you sit countin' up the cost With eyes half-blind by tears o' grief While doubt is chokin' out belief, You'll find when all is understood That what seemed bad was really good. Life can't be counted in a day.
- •I'd Rather Be a FailureI'd rather be a failure than the man who's never tried; I'd rather seek the mountain-top than always stand aside. Oh, let me hold some lofty dream and make my desperate fight, And though I fail I still shall know I tried to serve the right.
- •What is Success?Success is being friendly when another needs a friend; It's in the cheery words you speak, and in the coins you lend; Success is not alone in skill and deeds of daring great; It's in the roses that you plant beside your garden gate. Success is in the way you walk the paths of life each day; It's in the little things you do and in the things you say; Success is in the glad hello you give your fellow man; It's in the laughter of your home and all the joys you plan.