Edgar Guest

American writer and poet (1881-1959)

Edgar Albert Guest (August 20, 1881 - August 5, 1959) (aka Eddie Guest) was a prolific English-born American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People's Poet.

Edgar Guest in 1935


  • Life is a jest;
    Take the delight of it.
    Laughter is best;
    Sing through the night of it.
    Swiftly the tear
    And the hurt and the ache of it
    Find us down here;
    Life must be what we make of it.
    • Life, stanza 1, All That Matters, p. 80 (1922).
  • God grant me these: the strength to do
    Some needed service here;
    The wisdom to be brave and true;
    The gift of vision clear,
    That in each task that comes to me
    Some purpose I may plainly see.

    God teach me to believe that I
    Am stationed at a post,
    Although the humblest 'neath the sky,
    Where I am needed most.
    And that, at last, if I do well
    My humble services will tell.

    God grant me faith to stand on guard,
    Uncheered, unspoke, alone,
    And see behind such duty hard
    My service to the throne.
    Whate'er my task, be this my creed:
    I am on earth to fill a need.

    • A Plea, The Path to Home, p. 17 (1919).

A Heap o' Livin' (1916)


Book text in Project Gutenberg

  • 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.
    • When You Know a Fellow, stanza 1, p. 12.
  • Oh, you'll not be any poorer if you smile along your way,
    And your lot will not be harder for the kindly things you say.
    Don't imagine you are wasting time for others that you spend:
    You can rise to wealth and glory and still pause to be a friend.
    • It Isn't Costly, stanza 3, p. 15.
  • To have no secret place wherein
    I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
    To be the same when I'm alone
    As when my every deed is known;
    To live undaunted, unafraid
    Of any step that I have made;
    To be without pretense or sham
    Exactly what men think I am.
    • My Creed, stanza 2, p. 16.
  • "How much do babies cost?" said he
    The other night upon my knee;
    And then I said: "They cost a lot;
    A lot of watching by a cot,
    A lot of sleepless hours and care,
    A lot of heart-ache and despair,
    A lot of fear and trying dread,
    And sometimes many tears are shed
    In payment for our babies small,
    But every one is worth it all.
    • What a Baby Costs, stanza 1, p. 19.
  • It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home,
    A heap o' sun an' shadder, an' ye sometimes have t' roam
    Afore ye really 'preciate the things ye lef' behind,
    An' hunger fer 'em somehow, with 'em allus on yer mind.
    It don't make any differunce how rich ye get t' be,
    How much yer chairs an' tables cost, how great yer luxury;
    It ain't home t' ye, though it be the palace of a king,
    Until somehow yer soul is sort o' wrapped round everything.
    • Home, stanza 1, p. 29.
  • I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have
    been to me;
    I'd like to be the help that you've been always
    glad to be;
    I'd like to mean as much to you each minute
    of the day
    as you have meant, old friend of mine, to me
    along the way.
    • A Friend's Greeting, stanza 1, p. 33.
  • None knows the day that friends must part
    None knows how near is sorrow;
    If there be laughter in your heart
    Don't hold it for tomorrow.
    • A Song, opening lines, p. 34.
  • So long as men shall be on earth
    There will be tasks for them to do,
    Some way for them to show their worth;
    Each day shall bring its problems new.

    And men shall dream of mightier deeds
    Than ever have been done before:
    There always shall be human needs
    For men to work and struggle for.

    • Opportunity, p. 40.
  • Only a dad with a tired face,
    Coming home from the daily race,
    Bringing little of gold or fame
    To show how well he has played the game;
    But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
    To see him come and to hear his voice.
    • Only a Dad, stanza 1, p. 43.
  • I'm not the man to say that failure's sweet,
    Nor tell a chap to laugh when things go wrong;
    I know it hurts to have to take defeat
    An' no one likes to lose before a throng;
    It isn't very pleasant not to win
    When you have done the very best you could;
    But if you're down, get up an' buckle in—
    A lickin' often does a fellow good.
    • Hard Knocks, stanza 1, p. 44.
  • Can't is the word that is foe to ambition,
    An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
    Its prey is forever the man with a mission
    And bows but to courage and patience and skill.
    Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying,
    For once it is welcomed 'twill break any man;
    Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
    And answer this demon by saying: "I can."
    • Can't, stanza 4, p. 54.
    • Edgar Guest, "Can't" (poem on YouTube)
  • The things are mighty few on earth
    That wishes can attain.
    Whate'er we want of any worth
    We've got to work to gain.
    • Results and Roses, stanza 2, p. 57.
  • Less hate and greed
    Is what we need
    And more of service true;
    More men to love
    The flag above
    And keep it first in view.

    Less boast and brag
    About the flag,
    More faith in what it means;
    More heads erect,
    More self-respect,
    Less talk of war machines.

    • Our Duty to Our Flag, stanzas 1-2, p. 59.
  • 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.
    • How Do You Tackle Your Work, stanza 2, p. 63.
  • Life is a gift that the humblest may boast of
    And one that the humblest may well make the most of.
    Get out and live it each hour of the day,
    Wear it and use it as much as you may;
    Don't keep it in niches and corners and grooves,
    You'll find that in service its beauty improves.
    • Life, stanza 2, p. 64.
  • Courage was never designed for show;
    It isn't a thing that can come and go;
    It's written in victory and defeat
    And every trial a man may meet.
    It's part of his hours, his days and his years,
    Back of his smiles and behind his tears.
    Courage is more than a daring deed:
    It's the breath of life and a strong man's creed.
    • Courage, stanza 4, p. 73.
  • 'Tis better to have tried in vain,
    Sincerely striving for a goal,
    Than to have lived upon the plain
    An idle and a timid soul.

    'Tis better to have fought and spent
    Your courage, missing all applause,
    Than to have lived in smug content
    And never ventured for a cause.

    For he who tries and fails may be
    The founder of a better day;
    Though never his the victory,
    From him shall others learn the way.

    • Failures, p. 84.
  • No one is beat till he quits,
    No one is through till he stops,
    No matter how hard Failure hits,
    No matter how often he drops,
    A fellow's not down till he lies
    In the dust and refuses to rise.
    • Defeat, stanza 1, p. 112.

Just Folks (1917)


Book text in Project Gutenberg

  • When you're up against a trouble,
    Meet it squarely, face to face;
    Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
    Plant your feet and take a brace.
    When it's vain to try to dodge it,
    Do the best that you can do;
    You may fail, but you may conquer,
    See it through!
    • See It Through, stanza 1.
  • The stick-together families are happier by far
    Than the brothers and the sisters who take separate highways are.
    The gladdest people living are the wholesome folks who make
    A circle at the fireside that no power but death can break.
    And the finest of conventions ever held beneath the sun
    Are the little family gatherings when the busy day is done.
    • The Stick-Together Families, stanza 1.
  • I hold no dream of fortune vast,
    Nor seek undying fame.
    I do not ask when life is past
    That many know my name.

    I may not own the skill to rise
    To glory's topmost height,
    Nor win a place among the wise,
    But I can keep the right.

    And I can live my life on earth
    Contented to the end,
    If but a few shall know my worth
    And proudly call me friend.

    • Success.
  • Some day the world will need a man! I stand beside his cot at night
    And wonder if I'm teaching him, as best I can, to know the right.
    I am the father of a boy - his life is mine to make or mar -
    And he no better can become than what my daily teachings are
    • The Man To Be, lines from stanza 3.
  • How much grit do you think you've got?
    Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
    You may talk of pluck; it's an easy word,
    And where'er you go it is often heard;
    But can you tell to a jot or guess
    Just how much courage you now possess?

    You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
    But have you tackled self-discipline?
    Have you ever issued commands to you
    To quit the things that you like to do,
    And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
    Those rigid orders have you obeyed?

    Don't boast of your grit till you've tried it out,
    Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
    For it's easy enough to retain a grin
    In the face of a fight there's a chance to win,
    But the sort of grit that is good to own
    Is the stuff you need when you're all alone.

    How much grit do you think you've got?
    Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
    Have you ever tested yourself to know
    How far with yourself your will can go?
    If you want to know if you have grit,
    Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.

    It's bully sport and it's open fight;
    It will keep you busy both day and night;
    For the toughest kind of a game you'll find
    Is to make your body obey your mind.
    And you never will know what is meant by grit
    Unless there's something you've tried to quit.

    • On Quitting
  • Whose luck is better far than ours?
    The other fellow's.
    Whose road seems always lined with flowers?
    The other fellow's.
    Who is the man who seems to get
    Most joy in life, with least regret,
    Who always seems to win his bet?
    The other fellow.
    • The Other Fellow, stanza 1.
  • The joy of life is living it, or so it seems to me;
    In finding shackles on your wrists, then struggling till you're free;
    In seeing wrongs and righting them, in dreaming splendid dreams,
    Then toiling till the vision is as real as moving streams.
    The happiest mortal on the earth is he who ends his day
    By leaving better than he found to bloom along the way.
    • Improvement, stanza 1.
  • No man is greater than his will;
    No gods to him will lend a hand!
    Upon his courage and his skill
    The record of his life must stand.
    What honors shall befall to him,
    What he shall claim of fame or pelf,
    Depend not on the favoring whim
    Of fortune's god, but on himself.
    • There Are No Gods, final stanza.
  • I envy men whose yards are gay,
    But never work as hard as they;
    I also envy men who own
    More wealth than I have ever known.
    I'm like a lot of men who yearn
    For joys that they refuse to earn.

    You cannot have the joys of work
    And take the comfort of a shirk.
    I find the man I envy most
    Is he who's longest at his post.
    I could have gold and roses, too,
    If I would work like those who do.

    • The Truth About Envy, third and last stanzas.
  • If through the years we're not to do
    Much finer deeds than we have done;
    If we must merely wander through
    Time's garden, idling in the sun;
    If there is nothing big ahead,
    Why do we fear to join the dead?

    Unless to-morrow means that we
    Shall do some needed service here;
    That tasks are waiting you and me
    That will be lost, save we appear;
    Then why this dreadful thought of sorrow
    That we may never see to-morrow?

    • Living, first and second stanzas.
  • The easy roads are crowded
    And the level roads are jammed;
    The pleasant little rivers
    With the drifting folks are crammed.
    But off yonder where it's rocky,
    Where you get a better view,
    You will find the ranks are thinning
    And the travelers are few.

    Where the going's smooth and pleasant
    You will always find the throng,
    For the many, more's the pity,
    Seem to like to drift along.
    But the steeps that call for courage,
    And the task that's hard to do
    In the end result in glory
    For the never-wavering few.

    • The Few
  • A man is at his finest towards the finish of the year;
    He is almost what he should be when the Christmas season's here;
    Then he's thinking more of others than he's thought the months before,
    And the laughter of his children is a joy worth toiling for.
    He is less a selfish creature than at any other time;
    When the Christmas spirit rules him he comes close to the sublime.
    • At Christmas, stanza 1.

The Path to Home (1919)


Book text in Project Gutenberg

  • I look into the faces of the people passing by,
    The glad ones and the sad ones, and the lined with misery,
    And I wonder why the sorrow or the twinkle in the eye;
    But the pale and weary faces are the ones that trouble me.
    • p.22 - Faces, stanza 1.
  • I'd like to think when life is done
    That I had filled a needed post,
    That here and there I'd paid my fare
    With more than idle talk and boast;
    That I had taken gifts divine,
    The breath of life and manhood fine,
    And tried to use them now and then
    In service for my fellow men.
    • p.36 - Compensation, stanza 1.
  • Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
    But he with a chuckle replied
    That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
    Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn't be done, and he did it.
    • p.37 - It Couldn't be Done, stanza 1.
  • Oh, my shoulders grow aweary of the burdens I am bearin',
    An' I grumble when I'm footsore at the rough road I am farin',
    But I strap my knapsack tighter till I feel the leather bind me,
    An' I'm glad to bear the burdens for the ones who come behind me.
    It's for them that I am ploddin', for the children comin' after;
    I would strew their path with roses and would fill their days with laughter.

    Oh, there's selfishness within me, there are times it gets to talkin',
    Times I hear it whisper to me, "It's a dusty road you're walkin';
    Why not rest your feet a little; why not pause an' take your leisure?
    Don't you hunger in your strivin' for the merry whirl of pleasure?"

    Then I turn an' see them smilin' an' I grip my burdens tighter,
    For the joy that I am seekin' is to see their eyes grow brighter.

    • p.112 - The Burden Bearer, stanzas 1 and 2.
  • There will always be something to do, my boy;
    There will always be wrongs to right;
    There will always be need for a manly breed
    And men unafraid to fight.
    There will always be honor to guard, my boy;
    There will always be hills to climb,
    And tasks to do, and battles new
    From now to the end of time.

    There will always be dangers to face, my boy;
    There will always be goals to take;
    Men shall be tried, when the roads divide,
    And proved by the choice they make.
    There will always be burdens to bear, my boy;
    There will always be need to pray;
    There will always be tears through the future years,
    As loved ones are borne away.

    • p.119 - There Will Always Be Something To Do, stanzas 1 and 2.
  • He never guessed that being kind
    Depends upon the heart and mind
    And not upon the purse at all;
    That poor men's gifts, however small,
    Make light some weary traveler's load
    And smooth for him his troubled road.
    He never knew or understood
    The fellowship of doing good.
    Because he had not much to spare
    He thought it vain to give his share.

    Yet many passed him, day by day,
    He might have helped along the way.
    He fancied kindness something which
    Belongs entirely to the rich.
    And so he lived and toiled for gold,
    Unsympathetic, harsh and cold,
    Intending all the time to share
    The burdens that his brothers bear
    When he possessed great wealth, and he
    Could well afford a friend to be.

    • p.130 - Lost Opportunities, stanzas 2 and 3.
  • Men talk too much of gold and fame,
    And not enough about a name;
    And yet a good name's better far
    Than all earth's glistening jewels are.
    Who holds his name above all price
    And chooses every sacrifice
    To keep his earthly record clear,
    Can face the world without a fear.

    Who never cheats nor lies for gain,
    A poor man may, perhaps, remain,
    Yet, when at night he goes to rest,
    No little voice within his breast
    Disturbs his slumber. Conscience clear,
    He falls asleep with naught to fear
    And when he wakes the world to face
    He is not tainted by disgrace.

    • p.143 - A Good Name, stanzas 1 and 2.
  • Strange thoughts come to the man alone;
    'Tis then, if ever, he talks with God,
    And views himself as a single clod
    In the soil of life where the souls are grown.
    'Tis then he questions the why and where,
    The start and end of his years and days,
    And what is blame and what is praise,
    And what is ugly and what is fair.
    • p.145 - Alone, stanza 1.

When Day is Done (1921)


Book text in Project Gutenberg

  • No use weepin' when the milk is spilled,
    No use growlin' when your hopes are killed,
    No use kickin' when the lightnin' strikes
    Or the floods come along an' wreck your dykes;
    Only thing for a man right then
    Is to grit his teeth an' start again.

    For it's how life is an' the way things are
    That you've got to face if you travel far;
    An' the storms will come an' the failures, too,
    An' plans go wrong spite of all you do;
    An' the only thing that will help you win,
    Is the grit of a man and a stern set chin.

    • No Use Sighin' , stanzas 3 and 4.
  • It is better as it is: I have failed but I can sleep;
    Though the pit I now am in is very dark and deep
    I can walk to-morrow's streets and can meet to-morrow's men
    Unashamed to face their gaze as I go to work again.

    I have lost the hope I had; in the dust are all my dreams,
    But my loss is not so great or so dreadful as it seems;
    I made my fight and though I failed I need not slink away
    For I do not have to fear what another man may say.

    • The Loss Is Not So Great, stanzas 1 and 2.
  • What do I want my boy to be?
    Oft is the question asked of me,
    And oft I ask it of myself -
    What corner, niche or post or shelf
    In the great hall of life would I
    Select for him to occupy?
    Statesman or writer, poet, sage
    Or toiler for a weekly wage,
    Artist or artisan? Oh, what
    Is to become his future lot?
    For him I do not dare to plan;
    I only hope he'll be a man.

    I leave it free for him to choose
    The tools of life which he shall use,
    Brush, pen or chisel, lathe or wrench,
    The desk of commerce or the bench,
    And pray that when he makes his choice
    In each day's task he shall rejoice.
    I know somewhere there is a need
    For him to labor and succeed;
    Somewhere, if he be clean and true,
    Loyal and honest through and through,
    He shall be fit for any clan,
    And so I hope he'll be a man.

    • A Father's Wish, stanzas 1 and 2.
  • We have room for the man with an honest dream,
    With his heart on fire and his eyes agleam;
    We have room for the man with a purpose true,
    Who comes to our shores to start life anew,
    But we haven't an inch of space for him
    Who comes to plot against life and limb.

    We have room for the man who will learn our ways,
    Who will stand by our Flag in its troubled days;
    We have room for the man who will till the soil,
    Who will give his hands to a fair day's toil,
    But we haven't an inch of space to spare
    For the breeder of hatred and black despair.

    • No Room for Hate, stanzas 1 and 2
  • Boy o' mine, boy o' mine, this is my prayer for you,
    This is my dream and my thought and my care for you:
    Strong be the spirit which dwells in the breast of you,
    Never may folly or shame get the best of you;
    You shall be tempted in fancied security,
    But make no choice that is stained with impurity.

    Boy o' mine, boy o' mine, time shall command of you
    Thought from the brain of you, work from the hand of you;
    Voices of pleasure shall whisper and call to you,
    Luring you far from the hard tasks that fall to you;
    Then as you're meeting life's bitterest test of men,
    God grant you strength to be true as the best of men.

    • Boy O' Mine, stanzas 1 and 2
  • Seemed like I couldn't stand it any more,
    The factory whistles blowin' day by day,
    An' men an' children hurryin' by the door,
    An' street cars clangin' on their busy way.
    The faces of the people seemed to be
    Washed pale by tears o' grief an' strife an' care,
    Till everywhere I turned to I could see
    The same old gloomy pictures of despair.

    The windows of the shops all looked the same,
    Decked out with stuff their owners wished to sell;
    When visitors across our doorway came
    I could recite the tales they'd have to tell.
    All things had lost their old-time power to please;
    Dog-tired I was an' irritable, too,
    An' so I traded chimney tops for trees,
    An' shingled roof for open skies of blue.

    • The Cure for Weariness, stanzas 1 and 2
  • They spoke it bravely, grimly, in their darkest hours of doubt;
    They spoke it when their hope was low and when their strength gave out;
    We heard it from the dying in those troubled days now gone,
    And they breathed it as their slogan for the living: "Carry on!"

    Now the days of strife are over, and the skies are fair again,
    But those two brave words of courage on our lips should still remain;
    In the trials which beset us and the cares we look upon,
    To our dead we should be faithful—we have still to "carry on!"

    "Carry on!" through storm and danger, "carry on" through dark despair,
    "Carry on" through hurt and failure, "carry on" through grief and care;
    'Twas the slogan they bequeathed us as they fell beside the way,
    And for them and for our children, let us "carry on!" to-day.

    • Carry On.
  • Honor is something we all profess,
    But most of us cheat—some more, some less—
    An' the real test isn't the way we do
    When there isn't a pinch in either shoe;
    It's whether we're true to our best or not
    When the right thing's certain to hurt a lot.
    • The True Man, stanza 3

All That Matters (1922)


Book text in Project Gutenberg

  • I must get out on the trails once more that wind through shadowy haunts and cool,
    Away from the presence of wall and door, and see myself in a crystal pool;
    I must get out with the silent things, where neither laughter nor hate is heard,
    Where malice never the humblest stings and no one is hurt by a spoken word.
    • p.11 - The Call, stanza 2.
  • I must be fit for a child's glad greeting,
    His are eyes that there is no cheating;
    He must behold me in every test,
    Not at my worst, but my very best;
    He must be proud when my life is done
    To have men know that he is my son.
    • p.30 - The Boy's Ideal, final stanza.
  • Grandmother says when I pass her the cake:
    "Just half of that, please."
    If I serve her the tenderest portion of steak:
    "Just half of that, please."
    And be the dessert a rice pudding or pie,
    As I pass Grandma's share she is sure to reply,
    With the trace of a twinkle to light up her eye:
    "Just half of that, please."
    • p.31 - Just Half Of That, Please, stanza 1.
  • I fancy I hear them talking there
    In an open boat, and the speech is fair.
    And the boy is learning the ways of men
    From the finest man in his youthful ken.
    Kings, to the youngster, cannot compare
    With the gentle father who's with him there.
    And the greatest mind of the human race
    Not for one minute could take his place.
    • p.36 - A Boy And His Dad, stanza 2.
  • The difference 'twixt good and bad is not so very much,
    A few more minutes at the task, an extra turn or touch,
    A final test that all is right—and yet the men are few
    Who seem to think it worth their while these extra things to do.
    • p.50 - Clinching the Bolt, stanza 3.
  • "Changin' laws an' legislatures ain't, as fur as I can see,
    Goin' to make this world much better, unless somehow we can
    Find a way to make a better an' a finer sort o' man.
    The trouble ain't with statutes or with systems—not at all;
    It's with humans jus' like we [are] an' their petty ways an' small.
    We could stop our writin' law-books an' our regulatin' rules
    If a better sort of manhood was the product of our schools.
    For the things that we air needin' isn't writin' from a pen
    Or bigger guns to shoot with, but a bigger type of men."
    • p.57 - The Need, from stanzas 1 (part) and 2.
  • "You're pretty low down," says I to him,
    "But nobody's holding you there, my friend.
    Life is a stream where men sink or swim,
    And the drifters come to a sorry end;
    But there's two of you living and breathing still —
    The fellow you are, and he's tough to see,
    And another chap, if you've got the will,
    The man that you still have a chance to be."
    • p.68 - His Other Chance, stanzas 2.
  • He brought me his report card from the teacher and he said
    He wasn't very proud of it and sadly bowed his head.
    He was excellent in reading, but arithmetic, was fair,
    And I noticed there were several "unsatisfactorys" there;
    But one little bit of credit which was given brought me joy —
    He was "excellent in effort," and I fairly hugged the boy.
    • p.86 - Effort, stanza 1.
  • Are you one of the nine who pass men by
    In this hasty life we live?
    Do you refuse with a downcast eye
    The help which you could give?
    Or are you the one in ten whose creed
    Is always to stop for the man in need?
    • p.90 - The One in Ten, final stanza.
  • Oh, youth, go forth and do!
    You, too, to fame may rise;
    You can be strong and wise.
    Stand up to life and play the man —
    You can if you'll but think you can;
    The great were once as you.
    You envy them their proud success?
    'Twas won with gifts that you possess.
    • p.93 - To a Young Man, final stanza.

The Passing Throng (1923)


Book text in Project Gutenberg

  • Now a bit of praise isn't much to give,
    But it's dear to the hearts of all who live;
    And there's never a man on this good old earth
    But is glad to be told that he's been of worth;
    And a kindly word when the work is fair
    Is welcomed and wanted everywhere.
    • If I Were a Boss, third stanza.
  • "It's not exactly to my best
    But it may pass the final test;
    And should it break, no man can know
    It was my hand that made it so.
    The thing is faulty, but perhaps
    We'll never hear it when it snaps."

    Of course the workman couldn't see
    The mangled car beneath the tree,
    The dead man, and the tortured wife
    Doomed to a cripple's chair for life –
    His chief concern was getting by
    The stern inspector's eager eye.

    • The Broken Wheel, fourth and fifth stanzas.
  • I did not stop to ask the lad his little tale to tell,
    There was no need of that because I knew the story well -
    "She never gave a chance to me!" that sentence held it all.
    A hundred times I'd lived the scene in days when I was small,
    A broken rule, a teacher vexed, hot rage where calm belonged,
    A guilty judgment blindly made - a youngster sadly wronged.

    I still can see that little chap upon his homeward way,
    "She never gave a chance to me," I still can hear him say,
    And so I write this verse for him, and all the girls and boys
    Who shall their tutors now and then disturb with needless noise.
    Be fair, you teachers of our land, in every circumstance;
    Don't let some little fellow say he never had a chance.

    • She Never Gave Me a Chance, third and final stanzas.
  • Where is the road to Arcady,
    Where is the path that leads to peace,
    Where shall I find the bliss to be,
    Where shall the weary wanderings cease?
    These are the questions that come to me -
    Where is the road to Arcady?
    • Arcady, first stanza.
  • Who's dat knockin' at de do',
    Who's dat callin' here ter-day?
    What yo' want to see me fo'?
    Tell me what yo' got to say.
    What yo' name an' what yo' mean,
    Standin' out there in de gloam?
    Trouble, waitin' to come in?
    No sir, no sir, I ain't home!
    • The Callers, first stanza.
  • It was thick with Prussian troopers, it was foul
    with German guns;
    Every tree that cast a shadow was a sheltering
    place for Huns.
    Death was guarding every roadway, death was watching
    every field,
    And behind each rise of terrain was a rapid-fire concealed;
    Uncle Sam's Marines had orders: "Drive the Boche
    from where they're hid.
    For the honor of Old Glory, take the woods!" And
    so they did.
    • Battle of Belleau Wood, first stanza.
    • "This poem was chosen by Major General John A. Lejeune, Commandant
      of the United States Marine Corps, as his favorite of all the Marine Corps
      verse written during the war."
  • Stick to it, boy,
    Through the thick and the thin of it!
    Work for the joy
    That is born of the din of it.
    Failures beset you,
    But don't let them fret you;
    Dangers are lurking,
    But just keep on working.
    If it's worthwhile and you're sure of the right of it,
    Stick to it, boy, and make a real fight of it!
    • Stick to It, first stanza.
  • "Now you've all the equipment the greatest possess,
    And some men have risen to glory with less,
    So don't be afraid, but go to it;
    If it's honest, and useful, and ought to be done,
    Don't think it beneath you, but jump in, my son -
    Go straight to your duty and do it."
    • The Training of Jimmy McBride, third stanza
  • She wasn't hungry, so she said. A salad and a cup of tea
    Was all she felt that she could eat, but it was different
    with me.
    "I'm rather hungry," I replied: "if you don't mind, I think
    I'll take
    Some oysters to begin with and a good old-fashioned
    sirloin steak."

    Now wives are curious in this; to make the statement blunt
    and straight,
    There's nothing tempts their appetites like food upon
    another's plate;
    And when those oysters six appeared she looked at them
    and said to me,
    "Just let me try one, will you, dear?" and right away she
    swallowed three.

    • The Way of a Wife, first and second stanzas
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