Making A House A Home


by Edgar Guest

The landlord wouldn’t paint the place
or keep it in repair,
yet at the window panes was lace,
though every board was bare
and those who passed it by could trace
the tenant’s tender care.

And those who passed it by could see
a blossoming plant or two.
Despite the tenant’s poverty
a little garden grew,
lovely and gay and orderly
the blazing summer through.

The landlord Life at times seems cold
and deaf to every plea,
yet to our dreams we still can hold;
courageous we can be
and round the place plant marigolds
for passers-by to see.

We, too, with faith, can plant a rose
where all is bleak and bare
and fashion pretty furbelows
for windows of despair,
and work, till our poor dwelling shows
a tenant’s tender care.

From his book, LIFE’S HIGHWAY
© 1933 by the Reilly & Lee Co.


Wistful Reflections


by Edgar Guest

I’d like to be a boy again, a carefree prince of joy again,
I’d like to tread the hills and dales the way I used to do;
I’d like the tattered shirt again, the knickers thick with dirt again,
the ugly, dusty feet again that long ago I knew.

I’d like to play first base again, and Silver’s curves to face again,
I’d like to climb, the way I did, a friendly apple tree;
For, knowing what I do today, could I but wander back and play,
I’d get full measure of the joy that boyhood gave to me.

I’d like to be a lad again, a youngster wild and glad again,
I’d like to sleep and eat again the way I used to do;
I’d like to race and run again, and drain from life its funs again,
and start another round of joy the moment one was through.

But care and strife have come to me and often days are glum to me,
and sleep is not the thing it was and food is not the same;
and I have sighed, and known that I must journey on again to sigh,
and I have stood at envy’s point and heard the voice of shame.

I’ve learned that joys are fleeting things; that parting pain each meeting brings;
that gain and loss are partners here and so are smiles and tears;
that only boys from day to day can drain and fill the cup of play’
that age must mourn for what is lost throughout the coming years.

But boys cannot appreciate their priceless joy until too late
and those who own the charms I had will soon be changed to men.
And then they, too, will sit as I, and backward turn to look and sigh
and share my longing, vain, to be a carefree boy again.


From his book Along Life’s Highway
© 1933 by The Reilly and Lee Co.

Word Press daily prompt: Moody

Happy Family Meals

I woke up early this morning and thought of our US friends, for whom the Thanksgiving holiday is over. I came across this lighthearted poem by Edgar Guess and thought I should post it for those moms who are busy cleaning up and washing tablecloths after the family feast.


Some people, when they sit to eat,
prefer to see the table neat.
They want the linen spotless white,
the glasses dazzling in the light,
the silverware in trim array.
But as for me, I often say,
“Give me glad childhood’s tablecloth
well stained with jelly, milk and broth.

Not long in peace could I abide
in houses cold with pomp and pride
or dwell where dignity commands
precision’s care from little hands.
I much prefer the happier place
illumined by a smiling face—
the dining room where soon, I know,
a glass of milk will over go.

Be mine the room with laughter filled
where no one frets o’er what is spilled.
For what are tablecloths that they
should drive all merriment away?
And why think accidents a crime,
especially at dinner-time?
They gather sorrow for their pains
who make too much of jelly stains.

I should not like to always dine
where silverware and glasses shine
and linen white outlasts the meal—
too sad and lonely should I feel.
In tablecloths I take no pride;
I want the children at my side.
My joy is in those splotches red
when jelly dances from the bread.

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

The Simple Things

by Edgar A Guest

I would not be too wise — so very wise
that I must sneer at simple songs and creeds
and let the glare of wisdom blind my eyes
to humble people and their humble needs.

I would not dare to climb so high that I
could never hear the children at their play.
Could only see the people passing by
and never hear the cheering words they say.

I would not know too much — too much to smile
at trivial errors of the heart and hand
nor be too proud to play the friend the while,
nor cease to help and know and understand.

I would not care to sit upon a throne
or build my house upon a mountain-top,
where I must dwell in glory all alone,
and never friend come in, or poor man stop.

God grant that I may live upon this earth
and face the tasks which every morning brings
and never lose the glory and the worth
of humble service and the simple things.

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

Never Comes Tomorrow


by Edgar Guest

He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew
who’d be glad of a lift and who needed it, too,
on him he would call and see what he could do

Each morning he stacked up the letters he’d write
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad indeed, he was busy today
and hadn’t a minute to stop on his way;
more time he would have to give others, he’d say,

The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have known him, had he ever seen
But the fact is, he died and he faded from view,
and all that he left here when living was through
was a mountain of things he intended to do

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

The Art of Discovery


by Edgar Guest

A skylark of a by-gone day
mounted the sky
singing its long familiar lay–
and passing by
went men and women up and down
with hearts unstirred.
Theirs was the business of the town–
but Shelley heard.

The air had borne those liquid notes
for ages long;
from countless million golden throats
had poured that song,
and still the people sold and bought
and toiled for fame.
’Tis but a bird that sings, they thought
’Til Shelley came.

Enraptured by that lovely thing
and touched with pain,
with every nerve set quivering
like leaves in rain,
he stood the while the twilight rang
with chords divine,
and caught the song the skylark sang
in deathless line.

Who knows what beauty and what grace
are hidden still
buried among the commonplace
of mart and mill,
waiting with patience through the years,
as did the lark,
until the genius appears
their charms to mark?

From the book, The Friendly Way
© 1931 by the Reilly & Lee Co.

Daily Prompt Word: Pleasure