The Project Gutenberg eBook, Oklahoma Sunshine, by Freeman E. (Freeman Edwin) Miller

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Title: Oklahoma Sunshine

Author: Freeman E. (Freeman Edwin) Miller

Release Date: May 6, 2009 [eBook #28706]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1



E-text prepared by David Starner, Carla Foust, Suzanne Lybarger,
and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team


Transcriber's note

Minor punctuation errors have been corrected without notice. Printer's errors have been corrected, and the changes are indicated with a mouse-hover and listed at the end of this book. All other inconsistencies are as in the original. The author's spelling has been retained.






By Freeman E. Miller,

Author of "Oklahoma and other Poems,"
"Songs from the South-West
Country," etc.


Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The Advance Printing Company.

Copyright, 1905,
Freeman E. Miller.
All Rights Reserved.

The Gospel of Sunshine is the one Supreme Evangel, the Religion of Love is Mankind's most Universal Creed. They hold in their divine Baptisms the Winning of the Heart to Happiness, the Wooing of the Soul to Heaven.

The Author.

Beginning with June 9, 1904, there was a column of verse and prose published in "The Stillwater Advance" under the caption "Oklahoma Sunshine." These were written in the moments of a busy life, amid the crowding of sterner things, and many of them found a wide circulation in the fugitive publications of the day. So many persons have offered expressions of being pleased and helped by them that they are here presented in a more permanent form. The following comprise the year from June, 1904, to June, 1905.



A Busy Family, 4
A Blazing Future, 185
A Contented Farmer, 19
A Date With Joy, 265
A Happy Farmer, 299
A Jolly Good Game, 18
A Little of Love, 6
All Fool's Day, 249
A Memory, 232
A Modern Love Story, 276
A New Year's Resolution, 174
A Prayer, 29
April 22, 1889-1905, 269
A Song of Green Valleys, 30
At Rest, 188
A True Hero, 181
At the End, 214
At the Turning of the Lane, 289
At the Twilight, 290
At Valentine's Day, 204
A Valentine, 207
A Welcome for Winter, 97
Away from the Winter, 222


Be Patient, 116
Be Strong to Dare, 69
Best of All, 39
Better Hide Out, 129
Better Hurray, 277
Brighter than the Dreams, 286


De Hant, 190
Doing Pretty Well, 62
Don't Fall out with Life, 220
Don't Frown, 8
Don't Grumble, 5
Don't Trade with Trouble, 227
Don't Worry or Fret, My Dearie, 40
Don't You Fret, 61
Don't You Grumble, 46
Dreaming, 17
Dreams, 1, 254,


Evil Prophets, 173


Feelin' Fine, 71
Fields of May, 305
Finally, 167
Finis, 312
Fishing Time, 234
For the New Year, 166
Forgotten, 113


Give Us More, 113
Get in the Game, 15
God Give Us Change, 87
Good-bye, Dear Heart, 22
Good-bye to Trouble, 158
Good Morning,—Good Night, 216


Hands Around, My Honey, 38
He Voted "Graft", 182
Hear the Song, 106
Hope, 41
Howdy, Mister Summer, 287


If Love Abides, 277
If Santa Claus Don't Come, 162
In April Days, 260
In Prayer, 65
In Supplication, 57
In the Lap of Spring, 300
In the Light, 120
In the Orchards of Spring, 252
In the Shine, 138
In Yearning Mood, 114


Jist a-Wushin', 298
Jog Along, 9
Joy is Here, 184
June Time, 21
Just Be Patient, 223


Kansas Has her Dander up, 217
Keep Away from Trouble, 48
Keep Busy, 212
Keep in the Light, 229
Keep them Alive, 145


Life, 168
Life and Love, 228
Life's Way, 208
Loafing, 300
Look out for Trouble, 198
Love Brings the Song, 104
Love's Dream, 74


Minnows and Big Fish, 50
Mistah Cotton, 105
Mister Blue Bird, 239
Mister Cantaloupe, 13
Mister Ground Hog, 195
Move Along, 311
My Heritage, 284
My Philosophy, 2


Never Mind the Hills, 182
Never Worry, 142


Off the Reservation, 224
On Behalf of the Minority, 201
On the Road to Riches, 115
Our Joe's at Home Agin, 136


Playing the Game, 280
Pretty Good World, 83


Quit Grieving, 293


Rolling on to Glory, 219


Said, Governor Tom, 193
Say Good-bye to Sorrow, 241
See the Side-Show, 102
Shadow and Shine, 285
Signs of Winter, 144
Sing a Little, 172
Sing a Song of Sunshine, 128
Something Left, 184
So Santa Claus'll Come, 148
Stand Pat, 89
Still Going, 288
Still Onward, 312
Sunny Side Out, 233
Sunshine or Shadow, 253


Teddy's on a Hunting Trip, 255
Thanksgiving Hymn, 130
Thank the Lord for Work, 127
That New Year Resolution, 192
The Baby's Hand, 244
The Blossom Ways, 275
The Books, 310
The Bright Day, 81
The Call of the Fiddle, 163
The Call of the Master, 242
The Candidate, 21
The Charity Ball, 153
The Christmas Fiddles, 146
The Darky's Heaven, 49
The Days, 235
The Defeated, 102
The Glorious Fourth, 25
The Glory Train, 80
The Gods and the Man-Child, 266
The Good Times Song, 199
The Greatest Gift, 165
The Grip of the Prairies, 302
The Harvest Time, 11
The Journey, 306
The Legislative Pass, 186
The Lights of Home, 124
The Little Boy Land, 66
The Little Feet, 72
The Lord is Good to Me, 110
The Meadows of Morning, 304
The Meal Ticket Man, 134
The Negro's Warning, 37
The Quest, 77, 285
The Quest for Joy, 93
There's No Use to Worry, 29
The Rim of the Circle, 278
The Sage, 311
The Santa Claus Boy, 154
The Sunny Side, 212
The Sunshine Song, 122
The Sunshine Way, 140
The Third House, 170
The Valleys of Rest, 90
The Weather Man's Mistakes, 56
The Women and the Bill, 150
The World All Right, 86
Too Busy, 95
To One Departed, 42
To the Light, 118
To the Lonesome Fiddle, 160
To the Love Lands, 177
To the World, 78
Toss a Kiss to Care, 24
Trudge Along, 180
'Twill All Come Right, 157


Uncle Joe and Statehood, 209
Upward, 292


Wait Awhile, 213
We Sat and Talked of Other Days, 84
What Shall it Matter, Dear, 34
When Canderdates Git After Pa, 108
When Mr. Money Comes to Town, 70
When Pa Puts Up the Stove, 132
When Teddy Squares the Deal, 264
When the Bills Come Due, 26
When the Birds Come Back, 236
When the Campaign Liar Quits, 126
When the Crow's Feet Come, 96
When the Dollar Pounds the Door, 44
When the 'Phone Bell Rings, 36
When the Roas'in' Ears air Plenty, 58
When the Sad Time Ends, 308
When Trouble Came, 196
When Trouble Comes, My Honey, 116
Where Love Abides, 228
Willie's Easter, 272
With a Song, 189
Without Embarassment, 262


You Sang to me, Dear, 296


A Doubtful Voter, 112
A Fine Job, 180
A Happy Dream, 288
A Hard Winter Ahead, 152
A Hard World, 175
An Incurable, 215
Another Vintage, 112
A Popular Preacher, 215
A Quartette of Don'ts, 176
Ate Boys Himself, 32
A Troublesome Set, 5
Caught on the Fly, 3, 7, 16, 20, 25, 33, 35, 41, 48, 55, 63, 68, 71, 73, 81, 85,
94, 98, 107, 111, 125, 128, 129, 137, 142, 156, 158, 169,
179, 183, 188, 191, 194, 208, 211, 219, 226, 246, 248, 254,
263, 268, 272, 283, 295, 297, 303.


Duly Thankful, 131


Enough Heaven for Him, 47


He has Lived in Vain, 239
Hell and Heaven, 20
His Platform, 133


If we Were Wise, 168
In the Best Society, 69
In the Legislature, 200
It Died Young, 176
Its Principal Work, 207


Life's Eternities, 234
Little Sermons, 40, 51, 83, 104, 110, 119, 120, 121, 123, 143, 145,
153, 159, 175, 181, 187, 191, 195, 206, 213, 227,
233, 235, 246, 259, 261, 274, 281, 286, 287, 289,


Mighty Lonesome, 128


Nice Doctrine, 138
Nobody Hurt, 199
No Encouragement, 301
No Room for Bankruptcy, 49
Not Afraid, 185


One Drawback, 144


Play Ball, 171
Plenty of Exercise, 52
Providence Takes Care of his Own, 113


Rainy Weather, 14
Remembered by Santa Claus, 172
Richly Deserved, 232


Small Bills, 211
Snake Bit, 309
Sooner Sayings, 247, 248, 258, 259, 268, 275, 277, 288, 293, 299, 309.


The Frying Pan, 76
The Ignorance of the Court, 92
The Real Article, 53
The Real Question, 139
The Same Old Gifts, 164
The Sooners, 88
The Spirit of Compromise, 38
The Kingbolt Philosopher, 4, 10, 12, 24, 28, 33, 37, 39, 45, 61, 64, 65, 68,
82, 86, 99.
Too Much Prosperity, 159


Voting Around, 103


Wanted a Bill or Two, 197
Wanted to Hide, 121
Well Prepared, 27
Where Bill Was, 138

"What Think Ye, Masters, of These Things?"

(A Poem read on Oklahoma Day, September 6, 1904, at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.)

O, ye who frame the sovereign law,
And heal the hurts of ocean isles
Till hid are savage tooth and claw
And Peace above the battle smiles,—
If Justice reigns and Mercy clings,
What think ye, Masters, of these things?
The Father of the Waters greets
Imperial sisters proud and great,
And nation mighty nation meets
At festal boards of lordly state:
But one—one only,—maketh moan:
Denied the Star, she weeps alone!
The cycles fly on eagled wings:
A hundred years have run their quest
Since he who bought and sold with kings
An empire added to the West:
And all his regions rulers are
Save her alone who mourns the Star.
The wildness in a moment died;
A garden bloomed and fruited full
Across the plains and valleys wide
At touch of hands invincible;
But mute she stands where deserts were:
The banner holds no Star for her!
The race heaps high its conquered spoil;
The braggart heirs of all men do
Assemble where the Triumphs toil
In marshaled columns for review;
And she, the Starless, at your call
Brings trophies that surpass them all!
Are not her laurels rich and rare?
Her apt attainments great with grace?
You crown her here and everywhere
Save where she pleads for power and place;
The world amazed her praises rings:
What think ye, Masters, of these things?
She wonders wrought with wondrous hands:
Her cities crowd the teeming plains,
And church and school exalt the lands
With all of mankind's greater gains;—
The last of all the waste, she brings
The triumphs of her million kings!
A million white and black and red
Whose treble toils misunderstood
Build happy homes and fondly wed
The desert place with joyous good,
And at your feet, uncrowned, unblest
Kneel for the knighthood of their quest!
Thralled in her chains, this fairest one
Of all the realms that greatly found
Rich largess on the barrens dun
Pleads from her fetters, vassal-bound;
And still the Star before her swings:
What think ye, Masters, of these things?


Oklahoma Sunshine



Day-dreams and play-dreams! From the rosy morn
Till the ashy eventide and the stars new-born,
Ever bringing life and heart aweary with their load
Promises of hope and cheer while tramping down the road.


Night dreams and bright dreams! In the house of sleep
With their happy faces full and their gazes deep,
World on world so beautiful there they brightly bring,
Till the heart is happy in the songs they sing.


Day-dreams and Night-dreams,—all the dreams you will,—
Beckon up the rocky slope and summon o'er the hill,—
Summon us to do and dare all the deeds of yore
Till the battle ceases, and we strive no more!


My Philosophy.

I've made up my mind
In spite of the cranks,
'Tis a pretty good world
And we ought to give thanks;
And whether it came
From the God or the grime,
The fellow that runs it
Don't lose any time.
I've made up my mind
In spite of the tears.
That the world clambers up
With the roll of the years;
And whether it gropes
Or is led on and on,
It will come by and by
To the meadows of dawn.
In spite of the sin
And the folly around,
'Tis a much better place
Than the fore-fathers found;
And in spite of the fools
And the devils that grieve
I'm sure in no hurry
To pull up and leave.
So shut up your mouth
And don't grumble nor croak;
Go put your poor head
And your poor heart in soak;
Lay all of your sorrows
And sins on the shelf,
For the world is all right
If you're all right yourself!

Caught on the Fly.

If the girl with a white muslin dress and a picture hat has any troubles in this world she has a wonderful skill in hiding her real feelings.

Somehow, those men who are all the time telling how well money talks, never get well enough acquainted with it to speak with authority.

"De worst objection to de wortersmillion in Oklahomy," said a Mississippi black man, "is de fact dat it gits ripe too late fer de wheat harvest an' too yarly fer de cotton-pickin."

The average man grieves more when he runs out of chewing tobacco and the nearest neighbor who uses the filthy weed is three miles away, than he does when the mortgage takes the farm. Upon what little things doth happiness depend!


A Busy Family.

Mam's at a function where you hold your breath;
Liz has got a feller, an' she's talkin' him to death;
Andy has the measles, Susie's nussin' Bill,
Pap is out fer office an' he's runnin' fit to kill;
Pont an' me are fishin', all the signs are right,
Fer the crick is up a-boomin' an' the big fish bite!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"Ive heerd tell," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, "thet every dog has his day. But I'm jest as sartin thet he don't know he's a havin' of it when he has it.

"Now, thar was Bill Smith. Bill was a high-up chap, made money, had a rubber-tired buggy, four girls, and chawed terbacker thet cost a dollar a pound. But he never knowed he was a havin' of his day ontell he went busted on the Board of Trade. But now Bill knows it, and has knowed it ever sence he went busted."


Don't Grumble.

What's the use to grumble, what's the use to fret,
'Cause the cotton's weedy and the days go wet?
'Tis the Lord that sorts the weather and the sun and rain to you,
And you needn't kick and holler 'cause he don't explain to you!
When it rains, don't get to mopin!
There's more sunny skies than clouds,
And if sorrows drop in singly, why, the pleasures come in crowds;
Black day or bright day, don't you fume and fret,
When the cotton's weedy and the days go wet!

A Troublesome Set.

"Dese hyar white folks am a troublesome set," said a Guthrie coon. "We hab a great majority ob de city, but on 'lection day we nebber git ober half the city council an 'de school board, and four drinks apiece. We am a-talkin' of sendin' 'em back to Englan' whar dey belong ef dey don't do better!"


A Little of Love.


With a little of Love, Dear, and something of Song,
There's a glorified courage that conquers each wrong,
And the years fly as swift as the bird on the wing
Through the snow days of winter and rose days of spring.


With a little of Love, Dear, and something of Song,
There's no hour that is heavy, no day that is long;
And the soldier of hope scales the mountains that meet,
Till they lay all their trophies and gifts at his feet.


With a little of Love, Dear, and something of Song,
All the mighty exalt, all the feeble are strong,
And the breast bravely bares to the breast of the foe,
And, forever full armored, gives blow for his blow!



Then a little of Love, Dear, and something of Song!
What shall matter the struggle with error and wrong?
For the lilies and roses of gladness shall bloom
Till we sleep the long slumber as dust in the tomb!

Caught on the Fly.

It's no use to try to trot in a race where you are out-classed. Better be a good weed-puller at so much per pull, than a member of the legislature without any pull at all.

If a woman's hair is smoothed up, her hat on straight and her belt all right behind, the other cares and responsibilities of this life sink at once and forever into insignificant nothingness.

This thing of "hitching your wagon to a star" may be all right for a steady occupation, but the fellow who plants garden truck in his back-yard nights and mornings will have more on the table at meal-times.


Don't Frown.

Don't frown!
In the world's market place,
For a scowl there's no price,
And a long, gloomy face
Never cuts any ice!
Look pleasant, look pleased,
Or as pleased as you can;—
With a smile can be seized
All the great things of man!
Don't frown!
Don't frown!
With a smile on your lips
You can reach to the end
Of the world's last eclipse
Or the heart of a friend;
And the things the gods throw
Over life's weary mile,
Are the gifts they bestow
In return for a smile.
Don't frown!
Don't frown!
As you walk down the way
Where the world scatters chaff,
Light your labors with play
And your griefs with a laugh!
And when it's all o'er
And you reach heaven's stile,
You will get through the door
If you carry a smile!
Don't frown!


Jog Along.

Jog along, my brother,
Jog along, I say;
There's no cozy corner
For one that wants to play;
Don't stop to whistle,—
Whistle good and strong,
But be careful that you always
Jog along.
Jog along, my brother,
Jog along, I say;
Keep yourself in motion,—
You needn't stop or stay;
Someone will hear you
And will help your song,
If you do your part and always
Jog along.
Jog along, my brother,
Jog along I say,
Doing God good service
Till the final day;
For He will crown you
After all the wrong,
With his choicest blessings, if you
Jog along.


The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"There be some things," says Uncle Ezra Mudge, "that it is best to take on faith. I don't know for certain that the devil has split hoofs and a forked tail and carries a four-tined fork along with him in the hope of finding a hay-field handy; but rather than make a private appointment with him to find out, I am willing to take the word of the picture books on the subject."

Whatever weaknesses he may have, the man who is so thick-skinned that he can go on about his regular business and pay no attention to the little distractions of this life, has a great advantage in the world. The rhinoceros would not look well in a beauty show, but it can always sleep well, even if hundreds of mosquitoes are buzzing around hunting for a full meal.

Spring is that season of the year when the new plow-boy and the old plow-mule patiently learn again the world-wide difference between "haw" and "gee."


The Harvest Time.


The harvest time is over! And across the fertile plain
Stand the winrows of the meadows and the stocks of golden grain;
And the aching limbs of labor take the rest of happy ease
From the scorching suns of noon-day in the shadows of the trees.
The harvest time is over! And the husbandman receives
For the days of hard endeavor all the wealth of garnered sheaves;'
And the land of hill and valley smiles exalt with joys untold
Heaping high above the stubbles in the piles of ripened gold!
Harvest time! Harvest time!
Hours of toil are told;
Hill and valley both rejoice
With their wealth of gold!


The harvest time is over! After all the years of strife
There's a joy for every sorrow and a crown for every life;
[12] And the songs of Heaven's angels on the straining soul arise
As the weary foot-steps falter on the walks of Paradise.
The harvest time is over! All the struggle has surcease!
After life, the stars above us! After battle, love and peace!
And the glories of achievement that atone for sin and strife
Are the sheaves of good we garner as we reap the fields of life!
Harvest time! harvest time!
Years of struggle gone,
Joy shall crown the soul with light
In eternal Dawn!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"Fer accumulatin' much experience in a short while and in a rapid manner," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, "thar is nothin' under the sun beats a-goin' to law. With only a toler'ble fair case and a good lively lawyer on the other side, a man can git enough out of one single law-suit suitably appealed, to decently equip a whole neighborhood fer at least three generations."


Mister Cantaloupe.

Hello, Mister Canteloupe,
When did you arrive?
Glad to see you, and I hope
That you're all alive!
How-dy do and how-dy do!
Hope your folks are well,
And are coming after you
For to stay a spell!
Hello, Mister Cantaloupe!
Please excuse my smile,
But I'm just so glad, and hope
You will stay awhile;
Put 'er here and put 'er there!
If you've traveled far,
Come with me and take a chair
In the dining car!

Life is neither comedy nor tragedy, but sometimes it pushes up so close to both that it keeps a fellow on the dodge between smiles and tears.


Rainy Weather.

Our Mud Creek correspondent sends us the following items, having to do with the recent wet weather:

"Bill Hughes cut his wheat last week. He rigged up a header attachment to a row-boat, and nipped the heads off at the surface of the water.

"It rained so fast last Saturday night at Tad Wilson's that the water couldn't all run off the roof of his new house. The water stood four inches deep on top of the comb for over half an hour. Then Tad took an ax and sharpened the comb so it would split the drops better, and the water soon ran down.

"Jem Bilkins' incubator hatched last Wednesday during the heavy rain. Jem set only Plymouth Rock eggs; but, when they hatched, over half of his chickens were ducks. They were given web feet by an accommodating providence."


Get in the Game.

Get in the game of life, my boy,
Get in the mighty game;
There'll be something of care and somewhat of strife
And something of sin and shame!
But after the years and the toils they bring,
There'll be a time of joy,
If the heart stays sweet and the soul can sing,
So get in the game, by boy.
Got in the game of life, my boy,—
That is the game for all;
For the hazards are sweet and the days are rife
With the fortunes that rise and fall;
But after the losses the triumphs stand
Enemies can't destroy;
So get in the game with a full, clean hand,
So get in the game, by boy.
Get in the game of life, by boy!
That is the game men play,[16]
And whether it's gladness or whether it's strife,
It lasts to the One Great Day;
The crowns and the stars and the laughs of love
Beckon with hands of joy,
Till the soul grows vast in the home above,—
So get in the game, my boy!

Caught on the Fly.

My son, this world has so much work to do that it has not even room for a lazy man to sit down and rest. The hen that doesn't lay, the horse that balks, and the cow that refuses to give down her milk, don't get up to the feed-rack very long.

The Athletic Clubs are always inventing some new way of giving a big strapping cub an adequate form of exercise, but the average farmer finds more kinds of it than he wants when the crab grass gets busy.

It isn't every dude that wears patent leathers and parts his hair in the middle, who hasn't sense enough to flag the bread-wagon when it comes tearing down the pike.



Let those who prefer it
Keep hatching their schemes,
But all through life's summer
I'll cherish my dreams!
Go on with your struggles,
Your worries and wrongs;
I'll camp with the lillies
And list to their songs.
I'll dream with the daisies
That sweeten the sod;
I'll dream with the roses
That whisper of God;
I'll dream with the wild birds
That sing of the right,
And out of the shadows
Dream garlands of light.
I'll dream through the darkness
Of sorrow and strife,
Till love brings the morning
And laurels the life;
And over the meadows
My happy feet roam,
Still dreaming, still dreaming,
Till Love takes me home!


A Jolly Good Game.


You may talk as you please about Life's necromancy;—
'Tis a journey of smiles or of tears as you fancy—
For I always have found,—and I'm happy to say it,—
'Tis a jolly good game if one knows how to play it!


The Dealer sits yonder,—the hands that he serves us—
The brains and the beauty and courage that nerves us,—
And strength for the struggle; and then he gives warning,
To play to the ceiling till dawn of the morning!


And mighty the stakes that he sets us to try for!
Fame, Fortune and Honor, and Love, that men die for!
The Sword, or the Crown, or the Star, or the Garter,
And all the high winnings men bargain and barter!



He deals us the hand,—and no one may discard it!
The game must go on with no power to retard it!
And whether the hand be a good one or bad one,
He asks of us only to play it a glad one.


Then let people talk about life as they see it;
You can make it for you what your heart may decree it;
For I always have found—and I'm happy to say it,—
'Tis a jolly good game if you know how to play it!

A Contented Farmer.

Wheat-crop heapin' in de shock,
Corn jes' keeps a-bumpin';
Oats a-yallerin' in de sun,—
Cotton des a-jumpin'!
Millet, Kafir-corn an' cane
Bust their selves a-growin';
Oklahoma's home for me
Till Gabriel goes to blowin'!


Hell and Heaven.

"Doan't tell me dat hell am away off yander," said an old darkey as he stood before the display window of the vegetable market where a dozen water-melons, the first of the season, reposed in unconscious temptation. "Dem millyuns cost a dollar apiece, an' I hain't got but thirty cents ter save me from the bad place. Go 'way, man! I tell you hell am right hyar, an' hebben only sebenty cents away!"

Caught on the Fly.

Of course, it is all right to aim high, but it's the fellow that never shoots at all that fails to bring down the game.

After all, the alleged failures of life are not of much importance. It is what one does with his failures that tells the story of his despair or hope.

When a man is always dressed and has his boots on ready for the journey, Opportunity comes along in her automobile and invites him to get in and ride with her.


June Time.

Pleasures fond are singing,
Love, for you and me,
And the moments bringing
Joys of land and sea!
June-time is tune-time!
Don't you hear the song?
All the time is love time
Where the roses throng!
Don't you sigh or sorrow!
Raptures full and free
Crown each glad tomorrow,
Sweet, for you and me!
June-time and tune-time,
Where the roses throng,
Life-time and love-time
And the world of song!

The Candidate.

He's getting so busy, he makes the world dizzy,
His smoke can be seen from afar;
He kisses the babies and flatters the ladies
And gives the old man a cigar!


Good-bye, Dear Heart.


Good-bye, Dear Heart! I go my own sad way,
And you go yours, and Life is agony;
And yet I must not weakly beg you stay,
In spite of all your absence means to me.


Though distance part, though sky and sea divide,
To you I must not reach detaining hands;
The years are many and the world is wide,
And Love's fair roses bloom in many lands.


With all the joys and all the wishes fond
My soul sends after you, we can't regret;
The raptures wait us in the sweet Beyond,
And we shall teach our memories to forget.



We meet no more! The hand-clasp and embrace,
The hot, mad kiss, the crush of lips to lips,
The melt of eye and tender flush of face,—
These all for us have passed to last eclipse.


So, good-bye, Dear! Good-bye for evermore!
Adown the years our halting feet shall press,
Our lone hearts wander, till the quest is o'er,
And Love shall lead us back to happiness!


The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I've knowed some mighty fine scholars in figgers," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, "that never could calkilate the problem of human life. Purty near every feller when he gets to figgerin' on it, tries to git the Almighty Dollar fer the answer, and it won't figger out. I've seen lots of men in my time an' I never seed one yit that money made happy. An' if happiness ain't the answer to all this here figgerin' an' foolin' an' fightin', then I give it up.

"I'd ruther have Myrandy sing 'Ole Fokes at Home' when I'm lonesome like than to hev $10 Williams layin' around all over the place. It's more comp'ny to me, a whole lot more!"

Toss a Kiss to Care.

Toss a kiss to Care, and say,
"You are only for a day";
You with all your woes and tears
Never linger through the years.
Toss a kiss to Care, and be
Happy in your ecstasy;
Bid your grief begone, and smile
With the pleasures for awhile!


Caught on the Fly.

The bass-drum is all right at the head of the procession, but the still-hunt cuts the most ice in politics.

The up-to-date dude, a-sport with patent-leathers and a Panama hat, puts on lots of style, but he began life as a bald headed and bare-foot boy along with the common herd.

Whenever you see an old maid who giddily shies off from the croup when the little folks grow wheezy, you can put it down as a sure sign that she is trying to conceal her age.

The Glorious Fourth.

Sister got her new hat wet,
An' her white dress fair;
Mother got a cannon-crack
'Sploded in her hair;
Pap got powder in his face
Shootin' anville thayre;
Billy got an' ear tore off,
Sammy lost an eye;
Got two fingers broke myself,
Fourth o' ole July!


When the Bills Come Due.

There are many things that bother
In this mixed up world of ours,
And the paths we wander over
Are not always filled with flowers;
While some days are bright and sunny
There are others black and blue,—
And the day that brings the trouble
When the bills come due!
When the bills come due,
After all the debts accrue,
O, it's all another story,
When the bills come due!
We blow in without a falter
For most every thing in sight,
From the dawn of Monday morning
Till the dark of Sunday night;
And we dinner on the dainties,
Robe in garbs of gorgeous hue,
But it's all another story
When the bills came due.
O, we chase the rounds of travel,
On a cruise from shore to shore,
And no diff'rence what we purchase
Still we always buy the more;[27]
It's a barter every minute,
Till possessions large accrue,
But the clouds come down with darkness
When the bills come due!
When the bills come due,
After all the debts accrue,
O, it's all another story,
When the bills come due!

Well Prepared.

"How are you getting on, Mose?" asked an anxious creditor of an impecunious colored farmer.

"Wull, boss, pickin's kinder slim erroun' de cabin jes' now, but I'm a livin' in hopes. I've got two yakers er cotton's dat's middlin' fine, an' ten yakerser worter-millyuns dat am de bes' I ever see; an' ef I doan't git er millyun yakers er hebben dis fall, I miss my guess mighty bad!"


The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"Thar's nuthin' in all this world so dog-cheap ez advice," said Uncle Ezra Mudge. "I've give my seven boys enough advice off an' on to fix over the world an' finish up Heaven, an' 'en they don't know enough to let cigarettes alone, even. Thar's nuthin, arter all, that teaches a boy so quick es a lickin.' When he gits lammed all ter pieces by some kid thet he kep' a-pickin' at till good natur' fergot ter be a vartue, an' pasted him several between the eyes, he may not look so purty but he will know two or three things so blamed well he'll never fergit 'em ontell Gabriel blows his conk shell in the mornin'!"

Life may be One Grand Sweet Song but we are generally furnishing the music by pounding the bass-drum for the fellow who is pounding the bass-drum for us.

"Love's young dream" may be the sweetest thing in life, but there is nothing like pork gravy and hot biscuit for sticking to the ribs.


"There's No Use to Worry."

There's no use to worry,
When trouble appears,
For she leaves in a hurry
And bottles her tears;
There's a song for each sorrow,
A smile for each grief,
And the joys of tomorrow
Bring happy relief.
There's no use to worry!
This world's a good place,
If you fly from its flurry
And keep a bright face;
There is never a sorrow
That sickens the soul,
If you wait for the morrow
And let the cares roll!

A Prayer.

Lord, as I journey down the way,
Grant me good work for every day,
And, till my labor here is past,
To work with Thee until the last!

Words are poor vehicles for the carrying of thought. The glance of only one bright eye can tell a sweeter story than was ever written out in all the books of men.


A Song of Green Valleys.


A Song of Green Valleys,—the valleys new born
With the gold of the wheat and the green of the corn,
Where the roses arise from the dews of the night
And the paths for Love's feet are a-swoon with delight!


The Voice of the Valleys! The brooks to the seas
Mingle multiplied praises with Love's lullabies,
And the shouts of glad children exultingly rise
From the daisies of earth to the stars of the skies.


The calm of the Valleys! The raptures increase
With the calls of content and the pleasures of peace,
And the homes of the happy their gladness engage
From the rose-days of youth to the snow-days of age.



The bliss of the Valleys! There life blossoms sweet,
And the night-time and noon time in melody meet,
Till the sorrows that sadden the care-clouded day
Find the smiles ever beaming and vanish away.


A Song of Green Valleys! O, joys that they bring
Where the breeze whispers love in the love-days of spring,
And the songs of the thrush from the love gardens float
With the music that spills from the mocking-bird's throat!


A Song of Green Valleys! O, valleys that spread
From the croon of the babe to the dirge of the dead,
Beyond the long journey we leave you,—but then,
God grant we shall meet you and have you again!


Ate Boys Himself.

He was a four year old Oklahoma Fountleroy, in knee pants, and with golden curls that would make an angel envious. His face still wore the divine beauty of the cradle, and his large, luminous eyes reflected an innocence unspotted of the world.

But the carpenter on the building did not appreciate his company. He was always in the way. So the carpenter thought he would frighten him away, by a story of horrible danger.

"Do you see that big man coming there?" said the carpenter to him.

The child nodded assent.

"Well," continued the carpenter; "you would better run away before he gets you. That big man eats a boy for breakfast every morning, and he may eat you."

A look of ineffable scorn slowly penetrated beneath the curls. The large, innocent eyes took on an expression of supreme contempt. Then the angel indifferently said:

"I ate a boy once; he was a nigger!"


Caught on the Fly.

A drummer is known by the stories he tells.

Don't be in a hurry to do a mean thing. You'll have plenty of time to get sorry if you put it off until day after tomorrow.

When a man stops to count the cost of a noble deed, temptation has already stormed and captured the fortifications of his honor.

The $1 bill is a very popular brand among the people, but if history makes no mistake, it takes the $1,000 bill to secure votes in the Missouri legislature.

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I notice," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, "Thet the self-made man is always kept so busy tellin' about the fine job of work he turned out, thet he never has time to get the roof on an' the doors an' winders hung. A self-made feller generally shows a rough job put together with dull tools an' in mighty poor taste when you git to lookin' at it real clost, an' it could be mightily improved on by a middlin' sight of polishin', wood-filler an' hard-oil, well rubbed in!"


"What Shall It Matter, Dear?"


What shall it matter, Dear, how goes the weather.—
We with our hands and our hearts linked together,—
We with our faces, till daisies we're under,
Set to the skies with their welcomes of wonder.


What shall it matter, Dear, how goes the battle?
Something is greater than all of its rattle,
Something that gladdens the heart with the story
Telling of Love and Love's infinite glory.


What shall it matter, Dear, how the world use us?
'Tis but a show and its antics amuse us!
World that knows nothing of all our sweet gladness
And of the love that dispels every sadness!



What shall it matter, then, what shall it matter?
Peace still awaits after all of earth's clatter!
Peace still awaits, all our love-dreams adorning,
There in the bliss of the Glorified Morning!

Caught on the Fly.

Life's experiences are very much the same as when we go fishing. The biggest fish always gets away. But even then we have a pretty good feast on the minnows.

Yesterday is life's departed king; tomorrow holds all the possibilities of clown and emperor. Only today wears the glittering crown and the purple robes of power.

Don't pray for what you want, and quit with the prayer. Spit on your hands and grab it as it hurries by.

The lawn-mower is quite a play thing for the city-bred man, but in the interest of humanity he ought to be vaccinated against the back ache.


"When the 'Phone Bell Rings."

It's no difference what you're doing,
Whether you're asleep or ain't,
When the 'phone begins pursuing
It will catch you,—no complaint!
For its call is strong and steady,
And it always answer brings,
For you hurry with your "ready!"
When the 'phone bell rings!
O, it interrupts your vision
With its long, unceasing howl;
It dispels your dreams elysian
With insistence fresh and foul!
O, it summons you at meal-times
With a joy that stays and clings,
Till you swear it's always de'il-times
When the 'phone bell rings!
It's no matter where you're straying,—
In the garden, barn or bed,
There's no time to spend in praying.
Or in playing, quick or dead;
And if Gabriel "in that morning"
Wants a good old trump that swings,
Just let "central" sound his warning
While the 'phone bells rings!


The Negro's Warning.

Doan't yuh grumble, brudder!
Doan't yuh nebber doubt it,
Debbil gwine ter git yuh
'Foh yuh think erbout it!
Put yuh in de iurn-works
Whar de sinnah weeps,
Loadin' up de injines
Shovelin' coal fer keeps!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I've often noticed," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, as he slowly filled his Missouri meerschaum with Virginia twist,—"I've offen noticed thet nerve is the most vallyble asset in the credit items of human life. The pore man thet's got a plenty of it is an uncrowned king with pears's an' di'monds at his command, but the king thet lacks it will soon be uncrowned too. When a rich man er a famous man gits down in the mouth onct an' loses his nerve, it's all day with him in a minnet, an' a rope or a six-shooter ginerally winds him up. But if a feller hangs on to his nerve, he is alright fer the sights and scenes of this world an' he needn't be nussin' any worries 'bout the next one."


"Hands Around, My Honey."

Sparrow on the wagon-shed,
Chirping with a will;
Robin in the cherry-tree
Warblin' fit to kill!
Every thing's rejoicin',
Hidin' of the wrong,—
So hands around, my honey,
And we'll join the song!
Mock-bird on the chimney top,—
How that rascal mocks,—
Spillin' songs of melody,
From his music-box!
Over all the live-long place
All the pleasures throng,
So hands around, my honey,
And we'll join the song!

The Spirit of Compromise.

"I done heah dat de dimmycrats kinder comp'omised at de St. Looey convention meetin'," said old Black Mose. "I tell you, man, dat com'p'omisin' bis'ness am a great thing, suah! My ole woman en' me hez quahled en' fit en' fussed erroun' fer nigh fohty yeahs ober wheddah I should pack in de watah er chop de wood, en' we fin'ly comp'omised de mattah by hur a doin ob 'em bofe!"


Best of All.

Pie-million, cantaloope;
Musk-million tall;
But de blessed worter-million
Am de bes' of all!
Whar de worter-million grows,
Hebben's dar bechune de rows!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"It hain't so much difference what kind of work you do as how you do it," said Uncle Ezra Mudge. "The feller thet sets around an' kicks on the kind of a job he has never gits many others offered him, while the chap thet does good work at whatsumever he gits giner'ly finds a ladder to climb up to the top.

"I reckon David out there herdin' the sheep never kicked much on his job, an' I'll bet four 'coon-skins thet he wuz the best sheep-herder in all the Promised Land, er the Lord wouldent a-picked him out an' set him to work at the job of bein' king."


Little Sermons.

Where the world is going is not of much consequence. It's where you are going that cuts the ice.

When the sermon gets over thirty minutes long, the Devil comes to church and takes a seat in the Amen corner.

Heaven is in every man's easy reach, but some are too contrary to even tip-toe for the blessings of the other Kingdom.

"Don't Worry or Fret, My Dearie!"

Don't worry or fret, my dearie!
The shadows will soon go by;
Before half your tears have vanished
The sun's in the happy sky;
There's trouble enough, my dearie,
In days of a glad life long,
But Sorrows will die with no one to sigh
With Love and a little of Song!

There are some things about "our island possessions" which will bear imitation this hot weather. The costumes Of the Igorrotes, for instance.


Caught on the Fly.

Mr. Knowing How commands a princely salary while Hard Work is on the bum hunting for wages.

Some people are so anxious for happiness that they make themselves miserable in running it down.

Whether we learn much in the school of experience or not, we all register for the full term and pay the entire tuition mentioned in the catalogue.

Charity is something of which the mills of human life never turn out an over-production. Even some of the blessed saints could use a little more in their daily walk and conversation.


All the path is dark with shadows
And the road is hard to see,
But there's sunshine on the hill-tops
And that's the way for me!

There are many blessings in this world, but a shade-tree at the end of the cotton row, and a water-melon cooling in a seventy-foot well are two of its greatest joys.


To One Departed.


This life, Dear Heart, seems all so small and mean
Since thou art gone,—its prizes vague and vain,
Its efforts fruitless and its glories lean,
And all its heaped-up treasures worthless gain!


Amid them all my slow feet wander lone,—
My heart cries hopeless for its perfect mate;
The fancies murmur and the longings moan
For thee whose absence leaves me desolate.


Yet, somewhere, somehow, in the years that shine
With God's perfected wisdom throned above,
I know thou wait'st my coming, with divine
Enraptured welcomes of supremest love.



The Vision beckons, and I fix my gaze
Unchanging to the promise of the skies:
The full fruition of these lonely days
Dwells in the heaven of thine angel eyes!


What matter, Dear, though dullard thousands throng
And jostle rudely at Life's holy feast?
The dull ears hear no tender strains of Song,
And they that know Love best know Love the least.


And still with yearning hands that longing grope
And straining eyes that search to pierce the doom,
I creep the path-ways of my only Hope,
And seek the Loved One passed beyond the Gloom!


When the Dollar Pounds the Door.

It's no matter how exclusive
Men may be in social ways,
And how uppishly their manners
Every one of them displays:
Born to home-spun or the purple,
Very rich or very poor,
They're at home to every caller
When the Dollar pounds the door!
They may dwell in stately mansions
With extensive yards and grounds;
They may run their automobiles
And play golf through all the rounds;
But within their mountain villas
Or resorts by ocean shore,
They're at home to every caller
When the Dollar pounds the door.
Whether in the humble station
Or the mighty seats of state,
Eating crusts to banish hunger
Or a-feast on fruits of fate,—
There's no one who's found forgetting
That great lesson taught of yore,
For they're home to every caller
When the Dollar pounds the door.
Mister Dollar, Mister Dollar!
You have such a winning way,
[45] That I'd like you in the fam'ly
Every hour of every day!
And no matter where I'm staying,
Please break in with rush and roar
For I'm always glad to see you,
Mr. Dollar, at the door?

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I've wunder'd through this vale of sunshine for about sev'nty years," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, as he filled his Missouri meerschaum for the twentieth time, "an' I never yit seen a feller thet amounted to shucks who wuz allus a-hangin' on to someone else. The pore soul thet hain't got enough git up an' git to him to strike out fer hisself an' find a path of his own through the woods is mighty nigh sartin to git lost in the brush.

"Purty nigh ev'ry feller I ever knowed thet did anything wuth while did it by usin' the climbers on his own legs. Ef he stan's 'round waitin' to borry somebody else's tools, he wastes a mighty sight of his own time an' don't know how to use 'em when the other feller gits ready to be accommedatin'!"


Don't You Grumble.


Don't you grumble at the weather when the clouds are hanging flat,
For the sun will soon be shining and you'll have to growl at that,
And before in working order you your growler well have got,
You will have to change its focus for another kind of shot!


Don't you grumble at the fortune that the Fates incline to send!
If it's good, rejoice with gladness; if it's bad, why, make it mend;
And before you hit the gravel for the world beyond the years,
Things will balance pretty even through the tangled smiles and tears.


Don't you grumble at the meanness that heaps up your path with wrong!
[47] There are golden hearts of goodness that are full of love and song,
And along the ways you wander all their anthems ever rise
Like a chorus of the angels from the mansions in the skies!


Don't you grumble at the weather! Don't you growl around at fate!
In this world of life and labor, you must fish or cut the bait;
And if here you're always fretting o'er each little sob and sigh,
You will hardly relish heaven when you reach the Bye and Bye.

Enough Heaven for Him.

"Go 'way, man!" said an obsarvant Logan county darkey. "Doan't yuh come en talk to me erbout gittin' rich er bein' pooah! Nary one ob dem things bodders me. Ef perlitical campaigns'll jes' las' all de time en canderdates run all de yar roun', dis worl'll be hebben ernuff fer me!"


"Keep Away from Trouble."

Keep away from trouble,—
Keep away, I say!
He will double, double,
If you walk his way;
Go the other path-way;
Pass the rascal by;
Keep your face a-smiling
For the glory-sky!

Caught on the Fly.

The man that can't find any heaven in this world of sunshine has no promise of getting a chance to hunt for it in the next.

David said in his haste that all men are liars; and the Good Book does not record that he took it back after he had plenty of time to think it over.

The sublime faith that moves mountains and conquers kingdoms is frequently helpless and hopeless against the clatter of a garrulous tongue.


The Darky's Heaven.

I sho'ly doan't know
Whut soht ob a place
Dat de Lawd's fixin' so
Foh his own culled race;
But ef he "in dat day"
Wants de dahkeys ter catch,
Give 'em banjoes ter play
In a big millon patch!
Millon patch thet's so long
Dey can nevab git cross it,
En a feller not strong
Jes' purtendin' ter boss it;
Whar nebber's a dog
Ter molest whut yuh swipe,
En wharebber yuh jog
All de millons ah ripe!

No Room for Bankruptcy.

"Things ah sholy lookin' up ahroun' de cabin dese heah days!" said the jubilant darkey. "With watah-millons crowdin' de cohn-rows full, de cotton laid by, en fohty canderdates runnin' foh office, de bankrup'cy cou't am moah den foh hund'ed miles away, shuah!"


Minnows and Big Fish.

In the happy days of childhood,
By the river's rushing tide,
Where the crystal waters murmured
Over all the ripples wide,
It was perfect joy to angle
Through the spring time's laughing day
Though we only caught the minnows
And the big fish got away.
'Twas no matter how we waited,
How we watched with anxious eyes,—
For the finny tribe to yield us
Captures of enormous size;
There was always disappointment
Filling us with deep dismay,
For we only caught the minnows
And the big fish got away!
And it's much the same in manhood!
As we line the stream of life,
Fishing for the fame and fortune
In the waters full of strife,
[51] It's no matter how we angle
As the young years turn to gray,
We can only catch the minnows
And the big fish get away!
But the sport, the sport, is royal,
And it never had a match!
So it's really unimportant
As to what we lose or catch!
Let us use our highest efforts
Till the Father calls to say:
"What a splendid mess of minnows
Though the big fish got away!"

Little Sermons.

Christianity and religion are great things, but a holy life knocks the spots off them both in the long run.

Wealth comes from toil and sacrifice, but the treasures of the heart are vaccinated with love and are the parents of all real happiness.

There is no use to spend any time in worrying about the next world. Take care of the world you have, and the next one will take care of itself and you, too.

[52] It's better to whistle than cry, brother,
It's better to whistle than cry;
The day may be gloomy and dreary
And black with the storms of the sky;
But whistle your heart to the sorrows!
They'll smile as they hurry you by!
It's better to whistle than cry, brother,
It's better to whistle than cry!

Plenty of Exercise.

"Mary Jane," said Farmer Jim to his wife as he pondered over the letter just received from their boy Silas who was away at College; "Mary Jane, what does Si mean about all this 'tarnal athletic business he's a-talkin' of?"

Mary Jane had been a school-teacher before she married Farmer Jim, and so she quickly explained:

"Why, he means dumb-bells and Indian clubs and trapezes and such things, to give exercise to the boys, father."

"Wull, I'll be dumb-belled ef I had him out yander in the cottonfield a-choppin' out the crab-grass, I guess he'd git all the exercise he wanted!" snorted Farmer Jim.


"Away With the Sorrow."

Away with the sorrow,
The troubles and tears!
We'll laugh with the morrow
Through all of the years.
Away with the errors
That scourge as a rod!
Our sins and our terrors
Shall vanish with God.
The sob of our sadness
Shall cease bye and bye;
Away to the gladness,—
We're bound for the sky.

The Real Article.

"Doan't yuh talk ter me erbout yoh tahrpin en clam-bakes en yoistah fries!" exclaimed a recently arrived Guthrie coon. "Des' gib me sweet-'taters smotahed in 'possum gravy en all baked brown like we uster hab 'em down in ole Mississip! Go' way, niggah! Dat wuz high-libben like de real ahticle, I done tole ye!"


The Bright Side.


The bright side! The bright side! In spite of wind and snow,
The summer comes in beauty and buds and blossoms grow,
And whatsoe'er the fortune that brings the rose or rue,
A kindly Heart in heaven is taking care of you!


The bright side! The bright side!
Through all the hours of night,
The holy stars are watching you with sentinels of light,
And no matter how the sorrows may darken all the day,
The pleasures come in legions and drive their ghosts away.


The bright side! The bright side!
Though disappointments throng,
Sweet labor lifts the burden and satisfies with song,
And after all the sadness that shades the rugged life,
There's glory for the struggle and slumber for the strife.



The bright side! The bright side!
The side that's always there
Across the ways I wander and all the paths of care;
No matter what the darkness, the storm of land or sea,
The bright side still is shining, and that's the side for me!

Caught on the Fly.

Don't cry over spilled milk. Tie up another cow, and try it again.

Don't trail over the world hunting for happiness with a candle, when the sunshine Of God's mercy is over every thing.

Who can understand the deeps and heights of another's nature? Nay, who can measure and comprehend even his own?

Four-tined forks are splendid implements in the hay-field, but any fork is a mighty poor thing to impale the gorgeous bliss reposing in a ripe water-melon's ruddy heart.


The Weather Man's Mistakes.

No doubt, we all have troubles
That arise from this and that,
And we seldom make a home-run
Though we're often at the bat;
But the prince of all the fellows
That performs the wildest breaks,
Is the chap that brings the burdens
Of the weather man's mistakes.
"Sunday, fair and cool and pleasant"
So you hie yourself away
To the wild-wood sweet and shady
For a joyous, happy day;
Then the rain comes down in torrents
Till it drowns the very snakes,
And you have a high example
Of the weather man's mistakes.
"Wednesday, storm, perhaps a cyclone!"
So you stay at home and wait,
With your windows tightly shuttered
For a hurricano great;
[57] But it's all as mild as morning,
And you shout, "Of all the fakes!"
While you grumble, wildly helpless,
At the weather man's mistakes.
And some day a patient people
Turned to furies by their wrongs,
Will arise and smite the building
Where the weather man belongs;
And whatever then shall happen,
They will know the joy that wakes,
When no longer made to suffer
From the weatherman's mistakes!

In Supplication.

Dear Lord, I ask not that I live so long
That all the joy is gathered, all the rose;
But rather let me perish, ere the Song,
The highest Hope and perfect Vision close!


"When the Roas'in'-Ears Air Plenty."


Talk about the joys of winter! Whut's the fun of foolin' round
With the posies dead en buried, en the snows upon the ground?
When the wind's a-tossin' blizzards in a most distressin' way
Tell you have to set a-straddle of the fire-place all the day!
But I tell ye life's a-livin' when the summer grows the grass
Over all the nooks en crannies whayre a feller's feet kin pass,
En the whole world seems of heaven but a half-forgotten type,
When the roas'in'-ears air plenty en the worter-millons ripe!


Roas'in'-ears is best of eatin', though not very much fer style!
Shuck an arm-full fer yer dinner, sot 'em on en let 'em bile;
Salt 'em well, en smear some butter on the juicy cobs ez sweet
[59] Ez the lips of maple-suger thet yer sweet-heart has to eat!
Talk about ole Mount Olympus en the stuff them roosters spread
On theyr tables when they feasted,—nectar drink, ambrosia bread,—
Why, I tell ye, fellers, never would I swop the grub I swipe
When the roas'in'-ears air plenty en the worter millons ripe!


Near the sugar camps of glory is the worter millon patch
Like a great big nest of goodies thet is jest a-gone to hatch;
En ye take yer thumb en finger in an ecstasy so drunk
Thet ye hardly hear the music of theyr dreamy plunky-plunk!
En the griefs air gone ferever, en the sorrers lose control
Ez ye feed the angel in ye on the honeys of a soul,
En ye smack yer lips with laughter while the birds of heaven pipe,
When the roas'in'-ears air plenty en the worter-millons ripe!



O, the darlin' days of summer when the stars of plenty shine
With the apples in the orchard en the graps upon the vine!
When the hedges bud en blossom, en the medders rich en rare
Breathe the perfumes of the clovers like an incense everywhayre!
En the world seems like yer mother, with the tender hands thet bless
All the restless race of struggle with a heaped-up happiness,
En her han'kerchiefs of glory from yer eyes the weepin's wipe,
When the roas'in'-ears is plenty en the worter-millons ripe!


Don't You Fret.

Don't you fret about the weather
'Cause it seems a little hot;
You will find it rather sultry
Over yonder, like as not!
And unless you mend your manners
You will land without a doubt,
Where the brim-stone keeps a blazin'
And the fire is never out!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"In spite of whut some fellers say, this world never owed anybody a livin' yit!" said Uncle Ezra Mudge, as he whetted his scythe and tried the edge on the broad part of his thumb. "Thet heresy wuz invented fer the lazy cuss thet wuz too ornery to git up in the mornin' and hustle fer grub while the grass wuz wet.

"Some fellers seem ter act on the habit thet the world not only owes 'em a livin' but air willin' fer some body else to do the collectin' fer 'em. Leastways, they never do much hustlin' in thet direction theirselves. En I hev noticed thet when other fellers collect the livin' fer a feller, they giner'ly confisticate the most ov it in commissions!"


"Doing Pretty Well."

There are many that you meet with
Who are always full of gloom,
And they chew the rag forever
'Bout the darkness of their doom;
But as through the world we journey,
There's a joy that none may tell
When we meet the pleasant people
Who are "doing pretty well."
There are fellows by the dozens
Who are always in the skies,
And forever capture fortunes
Of the most gigantic size;
But we stagger from their presence
And their glories that repel,
For the quiet-spoken persons
Who are "doing pretty well."
O, it's neither sun nor shadow
All the time from year to year,—
And it's neither all of pleasure
Or of pain,—the journey here!
But whatever clouds may gather
Or what sunshine, for a spell
Let us keep a steady temper
And keep "doing pretty well!"


Caught on the Fly.

Hitch your wagon to a star, if you will, but always stand ready to throw the harness on the mules, also.

The man who masters the world may trust in Providence, but he climbs to greatness on the stepping stones of hard work.

In the economy of farmers entirely up against the crab-grass in the cotton-patch, the mule is mightier than the sword.

What shall it matter though sorrows distress us?
God sends the sun and the shadows to bless us!
And through all the years
Joy ever appears,
With a little of love and a little of laughter
To fashion this life for a jolly hereafter!


The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I want ter say," remarked Uncle Ezra Mudge as he began his Sunday shaving and stropped his razor on his thumb-nail, "I want ter say thet eddication is a big thing, but there air some things it can't do. One of 'em is ter give brains ter a fool. No school wuz ever yit found thet could change a wooden head ter flesh en blood; en the pore teachers air bein' continua'ly pestered ter death with idiotic payrents a-tryin' to have 'em stuff brains in their kids which the good Lord dident give any to. You kin plant jimson weeds in the garden, en tend 'em and water 'em, en nuss 'em the hull season through, en you'll hev only a leetle bigger crop of jimson seed at the wind-up. En it's jest thet way when brainless cubs air sent off ter collidge!" And the old man wiped his face with a hot towel and went on with his shaving.

There are many pleasant things in this world, but it is the job that allows us to get up when we please in the morning that makes life one grand sweet song.


In Prayer.

Beyond the narrow years Thou sendest me,
Flecked with their sun and shadow, tears and wrong,
Grant me this glory, Father, this to see,—
A world made happy in a world made strong!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"Them millionairs kin hev all the money they want en all the fun they kin git outen it," said Uncle Ezra Mudge as he drew on his blue denim wampus and whistled for the hounds, "but I kin git more ra'al fun en pure enjoyment outen a three hour 'coon-hunt with ole Lead then they git outen all theyr tom-foolin' aroun' with awty-mobeels en yats en summer ree-sorts en sea-side foolishness. It takes mighty leetle money ter make a man happy thet loves his work, en all the millions they kin pile up in front of him wouldn't buy a single beller from ole Lead on a hot trail! Come on, Lead!" And the old man strode away through the clearing with all a boy's enthusiasm for the hunt.


The Little Boy Land.


Away in the dim and the dusk of the years
Lies the Little Boy Land of the Soul,
Where the days are alight with the love that endears
And the lullabies tenderly roll;
Where the cares never come with their burdens of woe
To the gates of the kingdom of day,
And the joys are supreme as the little feet go
Through the glorified path ways of play.


There are beautiful curls in the realms over there;
There are cheeks that are rosy and glad;
There are eyes full of glee, never clouded by care,
Never shadowed by tears that are sad;
There are toys for the wishing,—tops, marbles and strings,—
There are ponies no hand may control;
And the moments go by on their wonderful wings
In the Little Boy Land of the Soul.



There are mother's fond kisses, enraptured with love;
There are joys never sullied with stain;
There are dreams brighter far than the dreams born above,
And the raptures that banish all pain;
And the world is so good that it cannot be true,
And its paths lead to Heart's happy goal,
While the joys of content every longing imbue
In the Little Boy Land of the Soul.


O, Little Boy Land! How afar into wrong
From the vales of your virtues I roam!
How far, since the croon of her lullaby song
I have wandered from mother and home!
But here is a heart that can never forget
Where the joys of our kingdom's yet roll,
And I see through the mists of the eyes that are wet
All the Little Boy Land of the Soul.


Caught on the Fly.

Faith and hope count a hundred, while idleness and discouragement are getting ready to figure.

There are many different motives concealed in the various compartments of man's being, but Vanity holds the key that unlocks them all.

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"The feller thet is so wibbly-wobbly thet he can't trust his own idees," said Uncle Ezra Mudge as he stopped in the midst of his wood-chopping and leaned up against a log to rest, "is the kind of a feller who never amounts ter shucks in a cow pen. It takes a man who hez kep' hisself in sich a condition thet he knows jist whut he kin depend on when the firin' begins, who allus wins in the bayonet charge. En it don't pay to fool aroun' huntin' up other people's idees before you strike hard licks. Ef you do, the chances air your wood'll be scarce when the cold days blow aroun'!" And the old man spat on his hardened palms and went on with his labor.


In the Best Society.

"It sho'ly costs like ebryti'ng to move in de bes' socieety at Saint Looey!" said a newly arrived Guthrie coon to an old resident. "It jes' erbout takes all de money yuh kin make to keep up wid de pace ob de high flyahs in dat ole town. So I jes' come down heah whar a pooah coon kin hab a good time en save some ob de coin on foh dollahs a week, en git in de bes' culled socieety foh an ole banjo in de week days en two bits in de collection hat on de Sunday mohnin's!"

Be Strong to Dare.

Not he whose craven soul rejects the fight
And flees abjectly from the booming strife
Achieves the summits of his greatest might
Upon the blood-red battle-fields of life.
Be strong to dare! And if the conflict's lost,
Men boast the fight when misers count the cost!


When Mr. Money Comes to Town.

When Mister Money comes to town,
The waiting thousands throng
The crowded highways up and down
To see him pass along;
They cheer him as he passes by,
They clap with loud acclaim,
And shout applauses to the sky
At mention of his name.
They push and jostle with delight
No matter what the day;
They follow him through all the night
To hear what he may say;
They leave old friends divinely sweet
To chase this new one down,
And fall devoutly at his feet
When Money comes to town.
Forgotten all the scenes of yore,—
The joys of other years;
The perfect bliss that went before
And gladdened toils and tears;
Behold! The old things pass away,
And new ones come to crown
The dazzling glories of the day
When Money comes to town.
O, Mister Money! What's your rush!
Why do you hurry so!
[71] Entangled up in all the crush,
I can't get next, you know!
Just come and camp with me and mine!
You'll never see us frown;
To have you with us will be fine
Whene'er you come to town!

Caught on the Fly.

When a man barters his honor for money, he never gets a chance to rue back.

Running this big world must be quite a job, but every man who talks politics thinks himself capable of bossing the whole works.

The next crop that needs looking up in the quotations is the length of the pole required for the persimmons about election day.

Feelin' Fine.

Roas'in' eahs dar on de stalk,—
Millons 'tween de rows;
Eb'ry t'ing a-makin' talk
Gin de crop ob woes;
Hebben come en settles down
On de millon vine;
Dis heah dahkey's shuah in town
Feelin' mos'ly fine!


The Little Feet.

Little feet that weary so
Down the dusty roads,
Pebbled are the paths you go
With your heavy loads,—
When the restless hours are o'er
And you cease to weep,
Little limbs shall ache no more
In the arms of sleep.
Little feet that weary so
On their journey long,
You shall lose the hurts you know
In the smiles of song!
All the lullabies of light,
All the smiles of play,
Romp across the darks of night
Into brighest day.
Little feet that weary so!
Come and let me take
All the heart-aches of your woe
For your baby's sake!
Cuddle on my lap, and flee
From the world's distress;
Let us run away and be
Where the fairies bless!


Caught on the Fly.

The fellow that "soldiers" too much in the hay-field generally soldiers too little in the battle-field of life.

The smile is a lightning-express train that carries you fast and far, while the frown is only a wheel-barrow that you have to push along.

In the battle of life, nothing is gained by deserting your guns to the enemy. Stand by them till the ammunition is gone, whether they are popguns or flint-locks.

If you ever feel inclined to blame a man for making mistakes, just look in the glass and behold the manner of man he is.

The Sunday School is undoubtedly a good place for a boy, but as a corrective measure it cannot be compared to an apple tree limb and a handy wood-shed.

The folks who sit on the back-steps and worry about the future never catch any smiles from the present as she passes the front gate.


Love's Dream.


Love gave me a Dream in the years that have fled
From the glorified joys of her beautiful home,
And over the world of the living and dead
It has followed forever wherever I roam;
And over the mountains and through the black night
It has guided my feet with its wonderful light.


It has joyed at the triumphs that came with renown,
And its rapture surpassed what the multitudes knew;
It has grieved at the failure that lost me the crown,
With a faithful devotion unknown to but few;
Through Despair's heavy shadow and Hope's holy gleam,
How my lips still were kissed by the lips of the Dream!



It has wept with my sorrow,—the sorrow that fell
Where the heart battled hard with the merciless foe;
It has laughed with my laughter when fortune was well
And the blossoms of triumph were blooming below;
And far through the black and the bright of each year
It has followed my feet till it followed me here.


O, the Dream that has lived through the years of the lost,
That with constancy shares all the paths I have trod,
Never leave me alone till the harbor is crossed
And I stand in the power and the presence of God;
And on through the ages no glory shall seem
Half so sweet as the love of my Dream,—of my Dream!


The Frying Pan.

"With all your talk about necessary house-hold implements," said Sooner Dave, "none of 'em is in it with the frying pan,—just the common, ordinary, every-day frying pan, that you chuck under your buck-board or tie to your saddle-horn. These parlor ornaments, side-boards, new-fangled stoves, potato-mashers, coffee-strainers and all the everlasting tribe of culinary jim-cracks have to turn out of the trail for the frying pan and give it the right of way.

"With the frying pan for his companion, the civilized idiot is at home any where,—prairie or woods, creek bank or deer-lick or prairie-chicken trysting place. With a frying pan and some bacon fat, home is never far away, and a full meal is so near that heaven comes close to the hungry man. It has fought more battles, made more forced marches and won more victories than Napoleon. It has surveyed lands, bunched cattle and soonered claims. It has done all the pioneering for the frontiers-man. In this one divine utensil, the wanderer fries his meat, bakes his flap-jacks and brews his coffee; and as they all come steaming from[77] its exalted circumference of life-sustaining food, what chafing-dish or modern steam-cooker was ever waited on by such a willing appetite?

"When I die," continued Sooner Dave, "I want a frying pan chiseled on my tomb-stone; for it has been the sole companion of the truest happiness I have known in this world. And if over in the next world there is a chance to choose one's crown after the style and finish the wearer may desire, I am going to take my faithful old frying pan along and wear it for a few thousand years just to show the angels how much a man can appreciate good things!"

The Quest.

What matters bog or bramble of delay,—
The mountain slope or shore of ocean reeds?
Pursue thy goal! Thy feet shall find the way
Unerringly where thy One Vision leads!


To the World!


To the world! To the world! Let us carol its song,
Let us conquer its grief and the wrath of its wrong,
Till the lilt of its laughter shall sweeten the sod
With the joys of the skies and the gladness of God!


To the world! To the world! Where the gleam hides the gloom
And the lilies of love on the battle-fields bloom,—
Where the light of the longing lies low on the stream,
And the soul seeks the crown of his dream,—of his dream!


To the world! To the world! To the world that we know
With its sunlights of love and its shadows of woe,—
To the world lifted up, lifted far to His face,
And the mercy that dwells in His bountiful grace!



To the world! To the world! It has beautiful years
With the pleasurers of peace and the turmoil of tears,
And wherever the feet wander fainting or far
Every day is a sun, every night is a star!


To the world! O, the world! Ah, the fruits of its soil
From the gardens of love drive the terrors of toil,
And the sins that embitter us leave us and then
We shall stand in His presence perfected of men!


The Glory Train.

Yondah stan's de gospel station
Whar de railroad runs away
Foh de house ob many mansions
Ober at de judgment day!
Bettah git a move on, sinnah!
Doan't yuh let yoh folks detain!
Hurry up an' git yuh ticket
Foh de glory train!
It's on time an' sho'lly comin'
Wid on measu'hed powah,
Wid the ingine flames a-spoutin'
Moah dan fohty miles an houah!
Doan't yuh stan' dar jes' a-foolin'!
Wid de judgment on yoh brain!
Hurry up an git yoh ticket
Foh de glory train!
Preachah say yuh have ter hurry,
'Case de kyars go whizzin' by,—
Ef yuh want ter check yoh baggage
Foh de mansions high;
Bid farewell ter ebery pleasuah,
An' de bad wo'ld's burnin' pain;
Hurry up an' git yoh ticket
Foh de glory train!

There are many dainties that hold attractions for the epicure, but in the strenuous times of campaign struggles they all give way to "pie."


The Bright Day.

The bright day, the bright day,
The shadows smiling through,—
The bright day, the bright day
Where Love looks up at you!
The bright day, the bright day!
The sorrows fade from view;
The white day, the light day,
The child heart always knew!
The bright day, the bright day!
The sun is golden there;
The sad clouds are glad clouds
And gone is every care.
The sky life, the high life,
Is waiting at the shore;
The bright day, the bright day,
Shining evermore!

Caught on the Fly.

The wonder of it all is how a fool can ever have any money to be parted from.

When the efficient man appears, there is no juggling with occasion or ceremonious tradition. The instinct of helpless selfishness clothes him on the spot with robe and crown.

Shoot arrows at the sun, if you will; but before you proceed to unload[82] your quiver in that direction, set aside a sufficient reserve fund to discharge squarely at beef-steak and potatoes.

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I heered tell," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, "thet one of them-air brass-collared fellers down at St. Looey thinks he hez a baboon thet is the connectin' link betwixt men en monkeys. I seed the same thing over to Lumpkinsville the last time I wuz thar. I guess thet feller must hev gone down thar en caught it en put it in a cage. It wuz in some respects much like a human. It walked on two legs en wore clothes, shoes, a shirt en a hat like a man. It wuz erbout the size ov a fourteen-yar ole boy, en it kep' on smokin' cigerretts all the time. A feller tole me thar it 'ud smoke six boxes ov 'em a day. I don't see whut's the use ov goin' clar to St. Looey to see a thing like thet, when they keep plenty ov 'em as near as Lumpkinsville! Stan'nin' right out on the main streets, too, en not chargin' a-cent to look at it all ye want to!"

If you have the "good resolution habit" swear off on that and do business.


Little Sermons.

The man who has a good appetite needn't worry the Lord with any troubles.

If faith without works is dead, that of the average loafer must be worse than an Egyptian mummy.

The brother with the best lungs may pray the loudest, but that gives him no insurance of a cool place over yonder.

Pretty Good World.

Pretty good world,
If you know how to use it,
Pretty good life
If you never abuse it;
Jog along, brother,
Through pleasure and sorrow;
All will be lovely
With sunshine tomorrow!

There are many patent ways to keep young these days, but we have observed that they all fail after a woman passes forty-five.

Don't estimate your engine power too high. Many a man with a $5,000 education is too small for a 30-cent job.


We Sat and Talked of Other Days.


We sat and talked of other days,—two old and wrinkled men,—
Beyond the dreams of boyish hours and all we fancied then,—
And as we talked our hearts grew warm, and down the noiseless night
We romped again with golden feet and hearts of pure delight.


The dreams we dreamed when life was young and all the world was new
Came back again from vanished ways with raptures smiling through,
And all the high resolves of heart and all the deeds of hand
Returned equipped with robe and crown and showed the Promised Land!


We sat and talked of other days,—the days that went away,—
Of child-hood's dreamy hours of joy and child-hood's heart of play;
And as we talked of other days, forgetting weal or woe,
The boys and girls came back again across the Long Ago.


We knew this life of men and things with all its griefs and glees
[85] Is not a dream of pleasures sweet or lilt of lullabies;
And yet despite the shadows deep that o'er the sunshine fall,
'Tis always worth the living and its songs are all in all.


We sat and talked of other days! O, days that died unfelt,
Where innocence was crowned with love and all the virtues dwelt;
And in our hearts we sadly knew, whate'er the sages say,
That Heaven romps with us no more since those days went away!

Caught on the Fly.

Finding fault is not hard work, but it is a great waste of valuable time.

"Food for thought" is a popular and necessary brand, but the hungry man entirely overlooks it on the bill of fare.

If you would have a soft berth in this world, you must first run the full-feathered goose down and then do the plucking by your own main strength.


The World All Right.

Don't sing of a bright world
That waits "over there,"
But warble of this world
And banish your care;
Beyond the dark valley
Sweet heaven may be,
But the world is all right
And it's all here for me!
It has a few shadows
And something of tears,
But they only make brighter
The beautiful years;
And this world is so jolly
Whatever may grieve
That I'm not in a hurry
To pull up and leave!

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I've noticed," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, "thet many en many a time it ain't knowin' how to git up thet makes a success of a man so much ez knowin' how to git down. Sooner er later a tumble comes rollin' along fer the best of fellers, en before he knows what's a-comin' he's clear down at the bottom of the pile. The feller thet kin git up a-laffin' under sich peculierr sarcumstances is the feller thet wins out en is on[87] top when Gabriel goes to tootin' of his horn; but the feller thet mopes aroun' en talks erbout whut he hez bin instid of tellin' whut he's a-goin' ter be is kivered over in the scrap-heap, world without end, ferever en ever, Amen!" And the old man knocked the ashes from his Missouri meerschaum and ambled into the kitchen where the long green hung.

God Give Us Change!

God give us change! The days are long
With labors hard that make us weary,
And o'er the gladness of each song
There floats a cadence somewhat dreary;
We'd like to loaf awhile, for—say—
Some five or ten sweet years, or twenty,
And chase the dull cares all away;
God give us change and give us plenty!
God give us change! The dull days flow
With quietude that palls a little;
Just anything to make it go
And heat the steam up in the kettle;
[88] No matter how the fortunes kind
In dull monotony prove pleasant,
We'd rather mix things up and find
A stirring scramble of the present!
We do not ask for all the gifts
To fall upon us in a tumble;
A very few where life's boat drifts
Will keep us happy through the jumble;
We only ask the mirth of men,—
Where'er we be we'll always love it,
And if the big bills vanish, then
God give us change and plenty of it!

"The Sooners."

The "Sooners" may have their faults, but as a general propositions they are to be preferred to the "laters." Every good thing that has blest mankind since Adam had his celebrated adventure with green goods in the Garden of Eden, has been discovered, invented, dug out or dug up, by a "sooner." He has always been a dare-devil whose courage was so prominent as to attract the envy and malice of every "later" that whittled dry-goods boxes into splinters and used his time to cuss "the government." God bless the whole "sooner" tribe, say I, from Adam down to General Kuroki!


The home lights! The home lights!
How they blaze and burn
Through the darkness of the shadows
Everywhere we turn!
What if stormy weather gather
On the hills we roam,
We shall refuge find forever
In the lights of home!

Stand Pat.

In the mighty game of life,
Stand pat!
Don't be moved by storm or strife,
Stand pat!
Keep within your heart a song,
And the days will not be long,
Till you conquer every wrong,—
Stand pat, stand pat!
Don't be bluffed by this or that,—
Stand pat!
Half the howls are chitter-chat,—
Stand pat!
When you hold the ruling hand
You are always in command,
And you'll surely beat the band.—
Stand pat, stand pat!
There's no need to draw or fill,
Stand pat!
Play your cards to make a kill,
Stand pat!
[90] If there's one that wants to raise,
Back your last chip while he plays
Till the chump no longer stays,—
Stand pat, stand pat!
There's a stack of reds and blues,
Stand pat!
For the chap that knows their use,
Stand pat!
When the game is o'er and won
Are the stakes that urged us on,
God will cash our chips at dawn,—
Stand pat, stand pat!

The Valleys of Rest.


What matters it, Dear, though the burdens be sore?
In the Valleys of Rest we shall weary no more,
And the music of mirth with its solace shall sing
All the songs of delight the beatitudes bring!


Nevermore shall the days with the sorrows be sad
Where the love-roses bloom and the joy-mornings glad—
Where the violets dream through the east and the west
[91] Of the beautiful lands in the Valleys of Rest!


There the heart from its grief in a moment shall cease,
And the soul hush its cries in the cadence of peace,
And the life with the laughter of rhapsody blest
Shall rejoice through the years in the Valleys of Rest.


O, the dear dreams that fled down the deeps of the past
That await with their welcomes our coming at last;
And the lips of our love that our lips never pressed
Smiling there for their own in the Valleys of Rest!


O, the raptures that stay for our glorified feet
When the joys of the past and the future shall meet,—
When the hopes of the years shall return from their quest
For the love-crowns of life in the Valleys of Rest!



Ah, the days, Dear, the days with their griefs and their glees
Sail away on swift ships o'er eternity's seas;
But at last we shall anchor with Love for our guest
On the Paradise shores by the Valleys of Rest!

The Ignorance of the Court.

They tell a good story over at Guthrie at Judge Burford's expense. Recently, an old Tennessee darkey, charged with stealing chickens, was brought into court for trial. The facts were all against him. He had no attorney, and when the Judge asked him if he wanted an attorney appointed to defend him, he declared that he did not.

"But you are entitled to a lawyer," the court explained, "and you might as well have the benefit of his services!"

"Yoh Honah would jes' a'pint me some ob dese hyah po'ah white trash lawyehs," the old darkey replied, "an' he wouldn't do me no good. Ef it's jes' de same to you, jedge, I'd ruthah depen' on de ignorance ob de couht!"


The Quest for Joy.


A phantom I follow forever through all of the shadow and shine,
Whose face is fair as the blossom, whose form is as warm as the wine;
Whose lips are as sweet as the dewfalls that velvet the mornings of June,
And eyes as the deep stars of Autumn that glow in the glories of noon!


A phantom I follow forever! Yet never on ocean or land
Have I heard the sweet voice of her music or leaped at the thrill of her hand,
And never, ah, never a greeting she gives that is tender and kind,
As I follow through mazes of beauty where flowers in her foot-steps I find!


A phantom I follow forever! What matter though careless of me,
She drifts to the sands of the desert and sails on the wave-tossing sea?
With foot never parched by the barrens, with boat never broken by storm,
I follow, I follow her passing and clutch at the wraith of her form!



And still I will follow the phantom!
Whatever the questing may seem
I'll conquer the spoil of her glory and climb to the crown of her dream;
And over the deeps of my yearning and over the hills of my hope,
She leads and I follow forever, wherever her phantasies grope!


And there at the last I shall find her—the angel that led me afar,—
And we shall rejoice in the raptures where all the beatitudes are,
And whether the journey be little, or whether the journey be long,
I press the red lips of her beauty and leap at the lilt of her song!

Caught on the Fly.

When Misfortune concludes to pay you a visit, she pushes the door open and walks in without knocking.

Woman's inhumanity to man,—the one she has and the other she wants,—maketh the divorce lawyer fat with ali-money.

Temptation is the dangerous banana-peel on the side-walk of upright[95] conduct; and even the bare foot sometimes takes a fall-down.

Too Busy.

Trouble will double
If trouble gets room,
But will pine if you leave her
And die in her gloom;
For trouble is lonesome
And moans from the start
If you face her with firmness
And lock up your heart
Sorrow will borrow
Wherever she can,
But will leave when you tell her
You're never her man;
Don't flirt with the vixen,
Don't welcome her face,
But exhort her to leave you
For some warmer place.
Make Trouble and Sorrow,—
The couple that moans—
Keep out of your pathway
And limp on the stones
Just let them go weeping
Through all of the years;
For a man is too busy
To join in their tears.


"When the Crow's Feet Come."

When we reach the Land of Forty,
And the hot blood cools a jot,
There's a mighty sight of changes
In our vision, like as not;
And we sober down a little
As we figure up life's sum
When we waken in the morning
And the crow's feet come.
When they scratch their little wrinkles
Round the corner of the eyes
We begin to chase the creatures
In a horrified surprise;
But they cling with cool persistence
And our hearts are stricken dumb
For we know they'll never leave us
When the crow's feet come.
We may tonic and cosmetic,
We may take our beauty sleep;
We may rub and punch and powder
But the claws go deep and deep;
And before we understand it
All our beauty's on the bum
For the years are turning yellow
When the crow's feet come!
But it's all the way of Nature!
There's no use to sob or sigh,
'Cause the chin takes on a wobble
And the wrinkles wrap the eye;
If we heap our hearts with gladness
Life with music still shall hum,
Though we reach the Land of Forty
And the crow's feet come!


A Welcome for Winter.


A welcome for Winter! Though summer shall fade,
There is joy on the prairies her bounties have made,
And the Land of the Sunshine all happiness knows
Through the days of the shadows and nights of the snows!


A welcome for Winter! What matters the cold
Which the harvest has warmed with the russet and gold?
All the valleys of plenty shall laugh through the white
Of the snow-laden day and the storm-ridden night.


A welcome for Winter! Though June, rosy-red,
Has plucked all her blossoms and frightened far fled,
There are hives with their honeys and granaries sweet,
And the fiddles of music with spring for the feet!



A welcome for Winter! If far from the days
All the lilies have gone from the violet ways,
There is joy that will dance o'er the meadows and sing,
Where the carols of plenty their blessedness bring.


Then, ho, for the Winter! There's love on the hills,
There is laughter and peace by the ice-covered rills,
And the hearts shall rejoice in the songs that arise
In the raptures that roll under storm-laden skies!

Caught on the Fly.

Some people act on an idea that work is so sacred they fear to touch it least they profane its divine nature.

Opportunity is a beautiful bird, but so shy that it feeds on the wing and never alights long enough for a common man to pluck its plumage.

Every man has within him the essentials of exalted greatness; but most[99] of us are so enmeshed in small follies that the greatness cannot break through.

The Kingbolt Philosopher.

"I've lived off en on in this land of Trouble fer mor'n seventy years," said Uncle Ezra Mudge, as he adjusted a shingle-nail in place of a missing button for a suspender hold. "En I never yit got a chance ter shake han's with him. I hev hearn tell thet he is a mighty big feller, but my observation is thet when you onct git up close to whayre he's a-stayin', he shrivels up so under a brave look frum honest eyes thet you hev ter git a maggifyin' glass ter diskiver the kind ov an animile he actu'lly is!"

When Willie Goes to School.

When Willie goes to school, it seems
The house has lost its light,
And silence like a shadow dreams
Of sunshine out of sight;
The place assumes a somber air,
And lonely musings rule
The moments slowly passing there
When Willie goes to school.
We hustle him from bed, and tell
To quickly wash and comb,
[100] His breakfast eat, and gather well
The books he carried home;
We brush his coat and fix his tie,
And with him fuss and fool,
And kiss him as he hurries by
When Willie goes to school.
And all day long we anxious wait
To hear his foot-steps fast,
Make music sweet there at the gate
When he comes home at last!
The lonely heart with rapture fills
And life's hot warrings cool,
And all the home with laughter thrills
When Willie comes from school!
Ah, World, the school that young hearts seek!
We know full well that you
Will keep him long at tasks that speak
Of books and ferule, too!
God grant that in the far-off years
He finds no dunce's stool,
Whereon to weep with foolish tears
When Willie goes to school!

'Tis Morning on the Hill-tops.


What though the valleys wander in shadows manifold?
[101] 'Tis morning on the hill-tops and all the skies are gold,
And on the purple summits the raptures of the blest
Are crooning their evangels and singing songs of rest!


'Tis morning on the hill-tops? The darkness at the feet
Shall blossom at the dawning with all the roses sweet,
And every grief we gather and every tear we know
Shall vanish into gladness as up the paths we go.


'Tis morning on the hill-tops! The glories of His love
With life and light supernal are waiting there above,
And up the slopes of shadow our weary feet shall climb
To kiss the smiles of rapture beyond the tears of time.


'Tis morning on the hill-tops! What matters sob or sin?
The Master waits our coming and welcomes us within;
[102] And there beyond the shadows where gladness reigns alway
We'll meet the hosts of morning, and dwell with them for aye.


O, Morning on the Hill-tops! The dim eyes look to you,
Beyond the darkened valleys and all the griefs they knew,
And to the sunshine waiting in realms of rhapsody,
The paths lead on and upward to where you wait for me!

The Defeated.

Not he who loses but who fails to fight,
In God's long years reaps harvestings of blame;
Not he the blind but who destroys the sight
Receives the curses of the ages' blame!

See the Side-Show.

When you visit at the circus
And behold the steeds bedight,
And the hoops and rings and races
And the clowns that make delight,—
You will miss the happy touches
That complete your broadest grin
If you see the main performance
And don't take the side-show in.


There'll be high and lofty tumbles,
There'll be acrobatic feats,
There'll be leaps and bounds and twistings,
That will lift you from your seats;
But with all the glare and glitter,
You'll but know the fun begin,
If you see the main performance
And don't take the side-show in.
There'll be elephants and lions.
There'll be bears and tigers, too;
There'll be clowns in robes and spangles
All to please the boy in you;
But the raptures of your gladness
Nothing can completely win,
If you see the main performance
And don't take the side-show in.
Life is something of a circus:
It has half a hundred rings
Where its jumbled aggregation
Earth's attractions to you brings;
But they leave the heart still heavy
As it stirs with stress and din,
If you see the main performance
And don't take the side-show in!

Voting Around.

"Well, Sam, how's cotton-picking getting along?" asked a white man of his colored neighbor.

"Hain't doin' any cotton-pickin' yit," replied Sam. "'Lection time's a-comin' an' I'm jes' a-votin' erroun' tell the candahdates quit runnin'!"


Little Sermons.

Religion is too often what the other fellow ought to practice.

Good never bears any fruit for you, except when cultivated in your own heart.

The devil always has a patent medicine recommended to cure trouble and increase pleasure.

Examine the looks of your conscience. It may be only prejudice that has placed its hand-baggage in the wrong room.

We are always glad to gather the harvest, which is abundant for the whole world, but are willing to leave the weed-pulling to the other fellow.

Love Brings the Song.

What if there's trouble
And what if there's wrong?
God sends the sunshine
And Love brings the song!
What if you stumble
When racing it strong?
Love will uplift you,
For Love brings the song!
Bury your troubles,
And life will be long:
God sends the sunshine
And Love brings the song!


Mistah Cotton.

Mistah Cotton come toh me
In de young spring-time,
En he say, say he toh me,
"Sambo, bet yuh dime,
Dat you'll never pick dat patch!
Dat I'll fool yuh crap,
Fer de weeds'll make a catch
En de bolls'll drap!"
Den I chase him up en down,
En I take his bet;
Chop dat cotton clar toh town;
How dis niggah sweat!
En I plow him sho'ly fine,—
Wo'k him day en night,
En de fust t'ing, how he shine
Wid de rows ob white!
Mistah Cotton, doan't yuh t'ink
Yuh kin fool me now;
I'll dis pick yuh quick es wink,—
Lemme show yuh how!
Pile yuh in de wagon-bed,
Sell yuh, ting a ling!
How de silvah-dallahs spread
Dat sweet song dey sing!

Don't use a telescope to discover your neighbor's faults. Even the sun has a few spots, but it would be a cold day for you without the glory of his shine.


Hear the Song.


There are dark and gloomy corners full of sorrow, like as not,
But the world is glad with music and it carols everywhere;
And if now and then a shadow dwells upon a little spot,
There is sunshine on the meadows and the wide ways laugh at care.
O, my children! Don't you worry,
As you go along;
Let your life be glad and cheerful
And you'll hear the Song!


As we wander down the valleys where the griefs of life assail,
We will find a few obstructions that are heaping in the road;
But with feet that never weary and with hearts that never quail,
We shall mount the glory-summits to the Summer-lands' abode.
O, my children! Don't you weary
As you go along;
Climb the path-ways to the hill-tops,
And you'll hear the Song!



You will bend beneath the burdens as you meet the toils of life,
And your arms will ache a little as you labor down the way;
But the rest of God's perfection waits beyond the bitter strife
And He crowns the souls that struggle with His Everlasting Day!
O, my children! Don't you murmur,
As you go along;
Look above to God's Anointed,
And you'll hear the Song!

Caught on the Fly.

When Love leaves life, Laughter packs up her things and gets ready to move.

When Hope dies in the heart, all its poor relations refuse to remain for the funeral services.

The people who are all the time trying to manage other people should remember that though Providence created Man in His own image, it has been unable to manage him ever since.


"When Canderdates Git After Pa."

When canderdates git after Pa,
Set up seegars, an' tell him flat
How big a man he is, and Ma
How good she cooks, an' all of that,
I slip aroun' an' let 'em know
I'm something on the homestead, too,
Fer onct upon a time or so
They'll hand a nickel out fer you!
When they come here, it's mighty fine!
Pa stops the team, an' work we quit
An' them there fellere stays to dine
An' talk the day-lights outen it!
They tell us how the gover'ment
Is goin' on, an' quote the law
An' tell their choice fer president,
When canderdates git after Pa!
An' then they'll brag about his farm;
How fine his hogs an' hosses air;
How slick his cattle, till my arm
Gits tired at all the jollies there!
An' then they tell Ma she's a peach,
A honey-lulu without flaw,
A angel fur beyond their reach,
When canderdates git after Pa.


When after dinner they hitch up
He sends me out to feed the shoats,
An' then they drink with nary cup
An' talk about the township votes;
An' after they git gone, Pa he
Has got a breath that's orful raw;
But I tell you it's nuts to me
When canderdates git after Pa!

Don't Worry.

O, brother, don't you worry,—
Don't you sob or sigh;
Just soak yourself with sunshine
And let the world go by!
What matters all, my brother.
The world may do or say?
For you and I outlive the sky
And it lives but a day!

Keep at work, my brother;
Keep at work I say!
There's not a cosy corner
For lazy ones that play;
And as through life you labor
And gladly jog along,
Just soak yourself with sunshine
And fill your heart with song!


Little Sermons.

If Heaven is too far away for you to reach out and shake hands with it, there is something wrong with your conduct.

If this life isn't worth living well, how do you expect to take one with you into another world that will be worth any more?

While you are praying for the unregenerate sinners of this world, don't forget to put in a word now and then for your own personal benefit.

"The Lord is Good to Me."

"The Lord is good to me!" he said,
As on his bended knees he knelt
Above his meager crust of bread
And voiced the gratitude he felt;
And from his supplications, he
Arose with strength renewed to face
The pinchings of his poverty,
The sorrows of his humble place.
"The Lord is good to me!" she prayed
Above her sleeping babe at rest,
While smiles of exaltation played
Across her features, care oppressed;
And from the crib of anguish where
The fever-wasted baby slept
She happy slipped away from care
And all the anxious tears she wept.
[111] "The Lord is good to me!" he cried
'Mid life's wild wreck as close he grasped
The scattered fragments to his side
Of millions lost that once he clasped:
And with a peace and thankfulness
He never knew when Fortune smiled,
He put behind him all distress
And laughed as lightly as a child.
"The Lord is good to me!" How slight
The gifts of God we grateful bless,
While countless treasures of delight
Escape the praise of thankfulness!
Through days of sunshine and of rain,
Through nights of griefs and rhapsody,
How I forget with high disdain
How much the Lord is good to me!

Caught on the Fly.

In these days of beef trust domination, every man is known by the breakfast food he eats.

The charity that covers a multitude of sins generally runs mighty short of blankets in the winter time.

Fishing poles are now out of date, but the candidates are bidding mighty lively for the pole that is long enough to reach the persimmon.


A Doubtful Voter.

"Well, Jimmy, how's your Pa getting along with his corn-shucking and cotton picking?" inquired Bill Smith of his neighbor's son, which neighbor was noted for his industry and thrifty habits.

"Pap's gittin' erlong fine with 'em," answered the boy. "Ye see there's five county tickets in the field a-runnin' this year, an' pap's a doubtful voter; an' whenever a candidate comes, pap jes' goes erlong shuckin' corn or pickin' cotton, an' the candidate helps him fer the sake of comp'ny. We've got all our corn shucked, en ef we hev no bad weather, there won't be cotton enough left to pick by 'lection day to lint yer whiskers with!"

Another Vintage.

"It is more of the Spirit of '76 that we need!" shouted the campaign orator.

"I haven't any of the spirits of '76," broke in a bystander in the audience. "But I've a quart of 'white mule' here in my pocket as fine as was ever brewed, if that will relieve your wants any!"


Providence Takes Care of his Own.

"De Lawd am pow'ful good to de culled fokes," said a negro philosopher speaking from his dusky meditations. "No soonah am de wohtah-millions gone de way ob all de yarth dan de pahsimmons git ripe ernuff toh make de possum fat, bress de Lawd!"


He conquered all the foes that bannered wrong;
He strove with might and did heroic deeds;
Yet nameless he; for to his lofty meeds
None wrought the immortality of song.

Give Us More.

No matter how the world may go,
How high it heaps our store,
For all the joys that banish woe
We always wish for more!
And from the cares that fume and fret,
We cry as e'er before:
"We thank thee, Lord, for what we get,
But give us more,—still more!"


In Yearning Mood.


Turn back, O Time, to where the young years rove
And smile with rosy lips and sing through joyous days;
The dull feet grow so heavy, and so far the ways
They wander from my love!


It was not this world where the dancing feet
Kept pace with joy and leaped through lanes of perfect hours;
It was that far-off world that sang with birds and flowers,
And all the raptures sweet.


It was not this world where our glad lips clung,
And close between the long-drawn kisses fondly told
Of dreams revealed not and of ecstasies that rolled
From glad hearts always young!


The dream-face beckons yonder,—beckons o'er
The long years fled afar and lapse of longing days,
[115] Who leaned against my bosom in the love-wreathed ways.
Then fled, and came no more!


Turn turn, O, Time, and lead with thy hard hands
Me like a child back where two young hearts fondly met:
A music laughs there always, and beyond the dim eyes wet
Love rules her perfect lands!

On the Road to Riches.

"What are you foolin' with now, John?" Asked the inquisitive neighbor of John who was always inventing something that he thought would bring him fame and fortune.

"I'm on the right track at last," replied John gleefully. "I'm inventin' a pole that will knock the persimmons, an' if I can only make it work, I'll be a millionaire in fourteen minutes, selling out to the candidates that are running for office this year!"

A little life in which to do
The little deeds that rise before;
A little love, a song or two,
And then the little life is o'er!


"When Troubles Come, My Honey."

When troubles come, my honey,
And sorrows dark the sky,
We'll seek the cave of faithful love
And watch the clouds go by;
A refuge safe, my honey,
From all the storm and strife,
Where joy shall keep the strong heart young
Through all the cares of life.
Then come with me, my honey;
What though the wild winds blow?
With hand and heart true love shall keep
Us safe through weal and woe!
The storm-clouds dark, my honey,
May fret the deep blue sky,
But love shall keep us smiling still
Of bright days by and by!

Be Patient.

Don't you lose your stock of patience
When the world seems going wrong;
It was here before you found it
With its happiness and song;
And it's altogether likely
That it's pretty sure to stay
With its music and its blossoms
After you have gone away.
[117] And no matter how you labor
Smoothing down the rocky way,
On the paths where men shall wander
It is likely stones will stay.
Here and there the little pebbles
You may banish one by one,
But the mountains rise forever
And your work is never done.
Don't despair! What use to worry
When the load you have to leave?
Other hands and hearts will follow
And the heavy task receive;
Do your own part to the limit!
Give it all the strength you can,
And as sure as God is ruling
He will crown you all a Man!
Step by step the world advances
Up the long and slippery slope;
Step by step it slow upwanders
Through the valleys of its hope;
Leave the tasks that rise beyond you!
Do the little deeds you can,
And the millions coming after
Shall complete what you began!

The Good Book tells us that the Master went about doing good while he stayed in the world, and so we are not surprised when it tells about his welcome to the glory-land.


To the Light.


To the Light! To the Light! Let us climb to the Star
That is swinging above where the benisons are,
Till we rest in the meadows where blossom above
All the daisies of Peace and the roses of Love!


From the dim and the dusk of the blood-sprinkled years,
How the nations have toiled from the valleys of tears,—
How the races have groped through the shadows of Wrong
To the gladness of Joy and the music of Song!


And the Man with the Race, how he leaps from the woe
Of the battle fields dead and the sorrows they know,—
How he gathers his tents from the dark of the night
Till he finds a sweet home in the gardens of light!


Oh, the thousands that fell by the mountains and stream
[119] Where the men of the past spilt their blood for a dream!
How the feet, ever striving, slow stepped from the past
Till they found the sweet music of rapture at last!


To the Light! To the Light! Yonder still shines the Star
That is waiting for us where the benisons are,
And there in the meadows that blossom above
We shall gather in peace all the roses of Love!

Little Sermons.

Some people do all they can to make others uncomfortable, and call it their religion.

The love which is so superfine that it can't find a place for its home in this world is entirely too good for a hearty welcome in the next one.

The reason why the preachers don't have larger congregations must be on account of their not wanting to call the sinners but the righteous to repentance, and there is always plenty of room.


In the Light.

Keep in the sunshine, brother!
Walk in the golden light;
The shadows are over yonder,
And there is the night, the Night!
Keep in the sunshine, brother!
It gleams on the grayest slope,
It smiles with the lips of pleasure,
And laughs with the lips of hope.
Keep in the sunshine, brother!
It gladdens the world with light;
The shadows are over yonder,
And there is the night, the Night!

Little Sermons.

However we may measure it, the heart of the world is always greatly bigger than its head.

Love will stir the heart into laughter when all the gold of Ophir only brings a snow-storm to life's roses.

That work is only worthy which adds something to the store of things that contribute multiplied joys to the lives of men.

God loves a mute but kindly tongue six days in the week more than a yawping mouth of prayer on the seventh day.


Wanted to Hide.

"What art thou, miserable creature!" shouted Pluto in a great rage as he beheld a shrinking, cowering form, hiding away in the deepest shadows.

"Pardon me, O, god of the realm of darkness," implored the miserable shade. "I am an ante-election prophecy, and am only trying to hide myself away and be forgotten forever more!"

"Poor thing, go and sin no more!" replied the king of shadows with a great pity in his voice. "Thy punishment is, indeed, deserved!" And he strode away to stir up the animals in another quarter of his dominions.

Little Sermons.

The thankfulness of some people stops in saying grace at the table before meals.

It isn't always the front seats that are occupied by His humblest children, when the collection plate gets busy.

The religion that is so brief as to last only a few hours on Sunday can be at home in a place too warm to cut ice in the great hereafter.


The Sunshine Song.


It's no matter what your sorrows, they will vanish sure and soon
If you'll only use your whistle on the sunshine's golden tune;
And no matter what the weather nor how the troubles throng,
If you practice on the music of the sunshine's happy song.


What's the use to pout and pester when the joy-bells cease to chime?
Sweet the daisies fill the meadow and they blossom all the time!
Keep your heart heaped up with gladness and a faith that's full and strong.
And through all the ways of winter sing the blessed sunshine song!


If the mountain path is steeper than your easy fancies thought,
Keep on climbing for the summits and the glories that you sought;
And if winter comes and pelts you with the snows that crowd along,
Lift your heart and feet together to the sunshine's golden song.



Over yonder bloom the lilies and the roses and the life;
What shall matter all the brambles and the underbrush of strife?
Don't you bear the angel carols rising o'er the cries of wrong?
Ope your heart and fill to bursting with the sunshine's blessed song!


O, my brother, don't you worry! Up and down this world we go
Where the summer brings the blossoms and the winter brings the snow;
But it's spring the wide world over as through life we push along
If the heart is full of music and we sing the sunshine song!

Little Sermons.

In a glad smile from a clean heart there was never room for evil to find a place to plant a suggestion of wrong doing.

It may be wrong for some folks to dance, but the devil would rather have some people talk about their neighbors a minute than to dance a whole week. They can do so much better job at it.


The Lights of Home.


Heave ho the anchor, laddies! The ocean rolls before;
We'll climb the waves undaunted and search the far off shore;
We'll breast the angry breakers that on the beaches comb
And sail, ah, sail, my hearties, for harbor-lights of home!


'Tis far the ships have drifted across the booming seas;
'Tis far our sails have darkened with toils and agonies;
'Tis far that youth has wandered where life's deep sorrows come
But ho, my lads, we're sailing for harbor-lights of home!


Beyond the raging tempest, beyond the waves that roar,
There waits the peaceful harbor and lights upon the shore;
And when the voyage ceases, beyond the farthest foam
We'll anchor there forever 'neath habor-lights of home!



Then weigh the anchor, laddies! The ship of life shall sail
Once more to youth's glad mornings and joys that never fail;
No matter how the weather, how far the course may roam,
There always shines a welcome in harbor-lights of home!

Caught on the Fly.

Life is a great university, but it offers no post-graduate course for its pupils.

Prejudice plays the fool, when mere lack of sense would be the highest wisdom.

Too many people forsake praising God for the pleasures they have in order to pray for trouble they haven't.

However you may shape things up, there is more down fool prejudice about politics than anything else in this world except Mormonism and religion.

One of the strangest things in the economies of this world is that the poor people who need money never have it and the rich people who don't need it have more than they can use.


"When the Campaign Liar Quits."

When the hurrah days are over
And the ballots all are cast,
There's perchance a tinge of sadness,
Over glories that are past;
But we have our compensations;
For no matter how it flits
There's a joy that beats unbounded
When the campaign liar quits!
While the red fire and the rockets
Fill the skies with rosy glare,
There's a kind of inspiration
In the shouts and music there;
But we pass it up with gladness
And contentment on us sits,
When the ballots all are counted
And the campaign liar quits!
He is trained in facts and figures,
He's a prodigy, in sooth;
He can tell the smoothest story,
But he shies away from truth;
So we gladly lose the glory,
(It was never worth two bits!)
When the ballots all are counted
And the campaign liar quits!
So, no matter how it ended!
Whether your men lost or mine.
We can shake hands all together
O'er this recompense divine;
[127] For we have a joy that pleases,—
That exalts our blessed wits;
And we know when all is over
That the campaign liar quits!

Thank the Lord for Work.

Never pray for idle hours,—
Never try to shrink;
But with all your honest powers
Thank the Lord for work!
Labor brings the pleasures high
And the joys that thrive,—
Where men laugh and where men cry,
Dearest thing alive!
Thank the Lord for strength to toil,—
Thank him day by day,—
Son of sky or son of soil
On life's vagrant way.
With a soul that fearless grows
And a good arm strong,
Joyously the glad heart goes
Up the world of song!

There was a young lady from Beaver
Who feared that her fellow would leave her;
So she popped to her beau;
But he answered her "Neau"!
And she called him a heartless deceiver!


"Sing a Song of Sunshine."

Sing a song of sunshine!
Life is full of bliss;
'Nother over yonder
Just as good as this;
When the trouble's over,
And the waiting long,
We will sing the music
Of the sunshine song!

Mighty Lonesome.

"Things am might loneseme erroun' de cabin now," said old Black Mose. "'Lection is ober, en de candahdates am all quit runnin' so suddenly dat nary one ob em's bin hyar fer two whole days, en de chilluns am all outen side-meat!"

Caught on the Fly.

Merit generally wins, but sometimes it is the doped horse in the swift race.

The fellow who starts out to do the greatest good to the greatest number, generally concludes that the greatest number is No. 1.

Amid the thunder and the crash of worlds, the chief question after all is how to get the most bread and butter with the least hard work.


Better Hide Out.

Mockin' bird up yander,
Singin' in de trees,
Clean fohgit it's wintah,
An' de time toh fieeze!
Bettah hide out, Mistah,
'Foh yuh stahve to def!
Wintah's gwine toh git yuh
Foh yub ketch yoh bref!

Though the world of care and the griefs that cry
May burden the years with a sob and sigh,
Yet with one true heart and a hand that stays
There's a rose for the snows of the wintry days!

Caught on the Fly.

A little laughter, a little love and something of tears, and then the curtain falls on the great drama of this life.

No doubt, Adam had many bad habits, but he never walked about with hands in his pockets until after Eve started the first tailor shop.

Some men's consciences are so worthless that if put up and sold to the highest bidder, the auctioneer would have to call off the sale.


Thanksgiving Hymn.

Dear Lord, for all the joyous days
Thy loving hands to us have told
We thank thee humbly, and we praise
Thy wondrous mercies manifold!
We thank thee for thy gifts of love,
Thy blessed benisons of good,
For all thy mercies born above,
And every fond beatitude.
For all the blessings thou hast sent,—
For paths that led us far from wrong,—
For holy joys and sweet content,
We praise thee with our hearts of song.
From thy rich treasuries above
Thy freest bounties full have come
To swell the laughters of our love
Around the happy hearths of home.
The fields have borne abundant store;
The roses and the lilies white
Have crowned the prairies and the shore
With raptures of their love and light.
The orchards bend with fruitage tall,
And plenty rules from sea to sea,
[131] And at the Harvest Home we call,
Dear Lord, in thankfulness to thee!
Through mingled ways of shine and shade
Thou hast our foot-steps guided far,
And all our pilgrimages made
Glad journeys under sun and star.
Our sacrifice, O Lord, we bring!
Thou hast sufficed for every need;
Bless thou the meager offering
Of vagrant heart, imperfect deed!
And be our Keeper through the night,
And through the long years of our quest,
Till thou shalt welcome to delight
And lead us in the ways of rest!

Duly Thankful.

"Lawd, we am mighty thankful foh all dat we hab receibed fum thy bounteefu' han's!" prayed the reverent darkey; "en above all, we am thankful dat de sheriff nebber got erroun' to take de ole mule erway 'foh de cotton crop got tended to!"


"When Pa Puts Up the Stove."

'Long in the fall when it gits cold
An' Ma takes on the shakes,
Then Ma at Pa will talk an' scold,
"The kids'll freeze, my sakes!"
Then Pa he ties a aprun on
An' mittens double wove,
An' we kids know we'll have some fun
When Pa puts up the stove!
He grabs the pipe he laid away
There in the attic high,
An' jumps aroun' jes' lively! Say,
My Pa is orful spry!
He dumps the soot upon the stairs,
An' gits blacked like a cove,
An' what he talks ain't sayin' prayers
When Pa puts up the stove!
He cuts his fingers some, an' grows
All black an' white in turn,
An' that bald place his old head knows
Gits red ernough to burn;
An' when we laugh, he snaps his eyes
No matter where we rove,—
An' say! Ma gits so mad she cries
When Pa puts up the stove!
An' Ma she jaws erround an says
He hain't no sense, an' we
Hide out behind the barn a-ways
To miss the jamboree.
[133] I tell ye, fellers, they're a sight!
No picnic ever throve
Such as we have of love an' light
When Pa puts up the stove!

His Platform.

"My opponents are running on various platforms," said the ambitious candidate, "but none of them promise you full relief from the evils that beset you. None of them reach down into your hearts and search out your wants and comprehend the good measures that will bring relief." And he paused for a moment, in order that the full import of his language might sink deep into the hearts of the mighty throng before him. "I favor," he continued, extending his right arm toward heaven in an impressive gesture: "I favor pensions for all the republicans, offices for all the democrats, free passes on the railroads for all the niggers, the whole earth for the socialists and the five oceans of water for the prohibitionists!"

And then the delighted crowd went wild with applause.


The Meal Ticket Man.

(Suggested by John Golobie's recent article, "The Apotheosis of the Meal Ticket Man")

Away with the heroes that litter the past!
Tear the crown from the brow of each unworthy pate!
We have come to the truth and its virtues at last,
And our heroes are modern and quite up to date!
Neither warrior nor prelate is praiseworthy now;
Neither saint nor philosopher cumbers our plan;
Let us gather the laurels and twine o'er the brow
In a crown of delight for the Meal-Ticket Man!
Just search through the musty old mists of the years,
For the men who have lifted the world to the stars!
You will find it was never the sages or seers
Who have healed human hearts from their terrible scars;
They were those who from one vagrant week to the next
[135] In the garret or cellar lived life's little span,
And whatever their thought or where ever their text,
All the glory belongs to the Meal-Ticket Man.
What matter though seedy his hat and his coat.
That his pantaloons bagged and were ragged and frayed?
Still the world by its modern, unanimous vote
Says it danced to the tune that his chin-music played!
At the touch of his hand, at the thrill of his thought,
It leaped on the paths where the greater truths ran,
And though in the ways that were humble he wrought
Yet it crowns him at last—the great Meal-Ticket Man!
Then hail to this hero of shadow and shine!
Never doubt he's as great as the greatest in worth,
And his greatness surpasses the greatness divine
Of the sword and the miter that saddened the earth!
[136] From the poverty-ways where his fellows hard toil
All the blessings arise that our sorrows shall ban;
He's a hero, indeed! He's the king of the soil!
Then a song and a crown for the Meal-Ticket Man!

Our Joe's at Home Agin.

Yaas, our Joe he run fer office:
Said he'd try his hand a bit;
Thet the kentry needed savin'
An' he'd tinker some at it;
But the 'lection now is over,
An' our Joe he didn't win;
But we're glad,—me an' his mother,—
'Cause our Joe is home agin!
Joe made quite a race fer sartin'!
He's a pollytishun right,
An' he's jest a bully feller
At a foot-race er a fight;
You jest ort ter hear his speeches!
How they cheered with mighty din!
But the 'lection now is over
An' our Joe is home agin!
Spent two months a polly-tickin';
Workin' every day and night;
[137] Says its harder work then thrashin';
Beats rail-splittin' out o' sight!
But to hear the brass-ban's playin'
Nerves him up, he says, like sin;
But we're glad,—me an' his mother,—
'Cause our Joe's at home agin!
Course we'd like our Joe elected,
But it makes no diff'rence now;
If the kentry needed savin'
Guess she'll manage it somehow;
Fer she's got to do without him,
An' we're glad he didn't win;
An we'll keep him,—me an' mother,—
Sence our Joe's at home agin!

Caught on the Fly.

Nobody has to take a dog and gun and go out to hunt trouble. It generally calls you up by 'phone and says it's coming around for lunch.

"Politics makes strange bed-fellows," no doubt; but the candidate for office seldom goes to bed, and he manages to get along on very little sleep till the returns get in.

It may be doubted whether "the Devil takes care of his own" in every way, but we'll bet our old hat that he never allows them to get hard up for fire-wood in the winter season.


In the Shine.


As through the world we wander
Through comforts fair and fine,
Let's miss the ways of shadow
And travel in the shine!


No matter what the weather,
Just watch the danger sign;
Keep off the roads of shadow
And travel in the shine!


The paths run every which way
To fool you, brother mine!
Pass out of every shadow
And travel in the shine!

Nice Doctrine.

"Dat sunshine docterin' am mighty nice to read erbout," said old Black Mose; "but when dese yer blizzahds come en de clouds hang mighty low down, en de snow goes toh sniftin' erroun' de shanty, dat's de time when I want plenty ob back logs en' a hot fiah goin' day an' night!"

Where Bill Was.

"Where is Billy Spudder tonight?" inquired one of the boys the second[139] night after the election as they lounged up to the bar and missed Bill's familiar presence.

"Bill? Why, Bill, you know, was a candidate for constable on the Walkover ticket and got beat so bad they couldn't count the votes," answered another. "And now Bill's at home getting acquainted with his wife again and being introduced to the new baby that appeared since he started his 60 days campaign!"

The Real Question.

"But," argued the republican candidate for office; "the republican party freed the colored people and made them the equals of the white folks. Didn't you ever hear of Abraham Lincoln, who set your people free?"

"Dat's all mighty true, Mistah man," said the hesitating darkey; "but flouah am mighty sca'ce erroun' de cabin en we hain't had no bacon since day befoh yistiddy; en I see a dimmycrat candahdate comin' down de big road a-whuppin' ob his hosses like he hed flouah en hog-meat on behin' en bringin' it all toh me!"


The Sunshine Way.


Wherever your feet may wander, wherever your fancies stray,
The paths that you walk are golden, for there is the sunshine way;
And roses are there with their beauties that over the path-ways twine,
And all of the world is a blossom that smiles in the tender shine!


There's never a murmur of evil, there's never a cry of wrong;
The daisies are sweet with laughter the birds are alilt with song;
The days dance by in their gladness as sweet as the sweetest wine,
Where the swift feet linger in rapture through ways of the golden shine.


What matters if shadows may hover o'er blue hills far and dim?
A star on the beautiful summits of the clear horizon's rim!
The calls of the happy lovers whose hearts beat swift and strong,
As they carol the sunshine music and whistle the sunshine song!



The pleasures greet ever the seeker that comes to their doors and woos,
And life with its sun and its shadow is whatsoever we choose;
And like some resplendent mirror it frowns or it smiles as we
Weep with the eyes of weeping or smile with the lips of glee!


Then ever and on, my brother, through all of the golden days;
Let us echo their music forever and keep in the sunshine ways!
And whether we walk with the blossoms or stray where the red leaves fall,
There is laughter for all of the sorrows and love for the griefs of all!

Reports indicate that nine newspaper men will be members of the next Oklahoma legislature, and even the names are mentioned. There is no kindness in giving the fact undue publicity. The poor fellows will have hard enough time to live it down, so let us treat them as charitably as the circumstances will permit.


Caught on the Fly.

Love and loud lips soon part company.

Accusation is fruitless. We all have our faults and are satisfied with them or we wouldn't keep them.

If people only did the best they could half of the time, they would be amply prepared for the worst the other half of the time.

Some men's dream of hell is a place where scolding women have the full run of the range and no one dares to talk back when they get busy.

Divorce may be a great evil, but every lawyer knows it is often an effective crow-bar to pry some very good people loose from hell.

Never Worry.

Let us never worry!
The flowers little care
How much of the weather
Is foul or is fair;
They blossom at morning;
They fade at the noon,
And blooming and fading
Their beauty dies soon.
[143] Let us never worry!
The birds freely sing
In autumn's drear weather
As blithe as in spring;
They chorus their music
In joy's happy tune,
And singing and singing
Their songs vanish soon.
Let us never worry!
If short is the life,
Whether laughing with music
Or weeping with strife;
'Tis the shine of the morning,—
'Tis late afternoon;
Ah, the night-fall is coming
And darkness so soon!

Little Sermons.

Love is the greatest thing in the world, and it carries the world's griefs on its shoulders.

If vice were as safe and inexpensive as virtue, heaven would have few candidates for admission.

I am always nervous when I meet these self-righteous people. I fear they will demand that I make the world over to fix it good enough for them, and when I fail they will blame me with all their troubles.


One Drawback.

"Well, did you have a good time Thanksgiving, Uncle Billy?"

"Splendid, splendid! All the boys an' gals come home an' brung theyr kids along, an' me an' mother felt twenty years er more younger. An' mother an' the gals got up a spankin' dinner an' we had a plenty of raal fine enjoyment. If it hadn't a-been fer one unfortnit thing, it would a-been mighty nigh perfect."

"What was that?"

"The crusts to mother's mince-pies all soaked in the bottom, an' she couldn't eat fer grievin' over it!"

Signs of Winter.

Winter's comin', fellers!
Blizzards soon'll blow!
Cotton all is gethered,—
Money spent, ye know!
Ole Thanksgivin's over,—
Weather's so and so,
Kids a-lookin' Christmas
Everywhayre ye go!


Keep Them Alive.

Keep Hope alive! Though failure comes
Adown life's varied stream,
Behold, joy beats her mighty drums
And brave men toil and dream!
Keep Faith alive! Though evil strays
Across the paths you tread,
Yet Goodness blesses all your ways,—
The living and the dead!
Keep Love alive! Though burdens press
And crush with anguish sore,
Sweet Love shall crown with happiness
The sad heart evermore!

Little Sermons.

Nothing takes a man down so much as to contrast what he is with what he meant to be.

Some people are so sure they are going to miss hell in the hereafter that they proceed to make as much as possible while in this world.

We don't know what Satan's steady occupation is, but if all reports are true he must saw lots of wood in order to keep up the fires in his settlement all the year 'round.


The Christmas Fiddles.


Tune up the Christmas fiddles! There's happiness about,
And willing fingers waiting to coax the music out!
There's music in the valley, there's music on the plain,
And music in the measures of happy sun and rain;
Then fix your fiddles, fellers! The music fond and sweet
Is waiting,—waiting ever,—the music of the feet!


Tune up the Christmas fiddles! The royal raptures flow
From finger-tips of gladness to happy heel and toe,
Till joyous hearts are beating and rosy lips of love
Are sweet as fairy music from the heaven harps above!
Then fix your fiddles, fellers! To match the merry sound
We'll dance the Christmas chorus and swing the partners' round!


Tune up the Christmas fiddles!
They're lonely with the song
[147] Their bosoms kept so closely in silences so long;
The boys and girls are weary with toilsomeness that grows
Where labor drowns the music of melodies she knows;
Then fix your fiddles, fellers! Each happy heart shall beat
To glories of the raptures and trippings of the feet!


Tune up the Christmas fiddles!
Where royal music rings,
Where lips are red with laughter and romping rapture sings,
We'll find surcease of sorrow and
Care shall die away
While the feet shall dance the music of happiness for aye!
Then fix your fiddles, fellers! Our sweet-hearts laugh applause,
And Love repeats the echoes in a kiss for Santa Claus!

Mistah Trouble, Mistah Trouble!
Happy dat yuh met me
When de pleasuhes all am heah,
En de joys beset me!
Happy dat de house am full
So yuh'll hab toh trabble;
Mister Trouble, stretch yoh laigs
Libely down de grabble!


So Santa Claus'll Come.

My Mommer says ef I ain't good,
Thet Santa'll stay away,
En never bring a top er thing
Thet boys want Christmas day;
En I'm jes' purfic now, I guess,
Er purficker then some,
En I'm behavin' like a man
So Santa Claus'll come!
I hop up out of bed, you know,
'Fore Mommer calls me thayre,
En dress myse'f en wash my face
En nicely comb my hair;
En then I help my Mommer work,
En make a happy home,
En please my Popper all I kin,
So Santa Claus'll come.
I go to school through all the week,
En never hookey play,
En I'm so good I'm never made
Tell after school to stay;
En when the Sundays come, you bet,
I quit each idle chum,
En go to Sunday School ez nice,
So Santa Claus'll come!
En Mommer says I'm orful good,
En teacher says so, too,
En call me jes' a angel, all
But havin' wings,—they do!
[149] En Popper says thayre at the store's
A dandy big bass drum!
You betcher life I'm bein' good
So Santa Claus'll come!

Mister Sorrow.

Mister Sorrow came one day
When the times were blue,
And he said: "My brother, say
Can I stay with you?"
And he looked so mighty nice
That I asked him in;
Nothing said about the price;
'Fraid he'd go agin!
Mister Sorrow from that day
Hangs around here so!
Makes himself at home, to play
He's my friend, you know!
When I hint it mighty strong
That he'd better roam,
Says he's boarded here so long
That it seems like home!

If the Kingdom of Heaven was like a mustard-seed two thousand years ago, it has not changed its appearance any since; it seems so small now-a-days that it is pretty hard to find down here below.


The Women and the Bill.

(Explanatory Note:—The press reports state that the women of America are strenuously opposing the statehood bill, and demanding that it provide for Equal Suffrage and Prohibition in the new state.)

It was years and years in coming, but it hove in sight at last,
And we hoped our cares were over and our disappointments past;
It was fought for on the hustings, in the platforms was declared,
And with all the big campaigners it has every honor shared;
And we thought we surely had it where no evil hands could kill,
Till the women went to
on the
Don't the last of you remember how we whooped it up with might
Through the speeches of the daytime and orations of the night;
How resolved and re-resolved, and then resolved again,
That our people were the people, and our men the very men?
[151] And we shouted out the story of our deeds with honest will;—
But the women now are
on the
Don't you now recall distinctly how we speechified till hoarse,
Trying to convince the people what was just the proper course?
How much time and toil we lavished in the beauty of our schemes
Just to save the state from danger to the dearness of our dreams!
But, alas! we see the finish! And alas! for manly skill!
For the women all are
on the
We have seen the new star rising from the territorial seas,
We have seen it mount the zenith where the old flag split the breeze;
And we boasted of our glories in rejoicings grand and great
As we thought we raced for honors in the new-created state!
[152] Vanished now the dreams of sal'ry and the offices to fill,
For the women all are
on the
O, the grave and mighty Senate! Mr. Beveridge mighty too!
We can understand your pickle and we know just what you'll do;
There is only one escaping, only one to ransom us
From the rumpus we have kicked up and the madness of the muss:
Give the women all they ask for! We were chumps to treat them ill.—
We're undone if they keep
on the

A Hard Winter Ahead.

"Yessuh, we am lookin' foh de hahdest wintah dis yeah dar hez bin foh a long time; but ef de neighbohs keeps on erraisin' chickens en de possums doan't git too scahse, I belieb we kin pull thew toh grass widout a-sellin' ob de houn' pup!"


The Charity Ball.

Rich man foh de pooh man dance
One night in de yeah;
Pooh man foh de rich man prance
All times, do yuh heah?
Pooh man play de violin
While de rich man swing;
Pooh man squeeze de fiddle in
When he wants toh sing!
Mistah rich man, hab yoh fun
Makin' grub foh us;
Min' dat stohy ez yuh run
'Bout ole Lazaruss!
Guess yuh'll dance some ober dah,
Jes' ez like ez not;
Swing dem pahtnehs fas' en fah
'Foh de fiah git hot!

Little Sermons.

The man who can't live right in this world can't expect to get the chance in the next.

There may be more devotion in tears than in laughter, but I'll tie up with the latter and take the risk.

No one except Christ ever called the devil Satan to his face; and then they went up into the high mountain and into a private place where no one else could hear the muss.


The Santa Claus Boy.

The Santa Claus boy is the latest thing out;
He's the rage of the season, they say,
And wherever you wander, you'll find him about
With his beautiful, dutiful way;
He's as spick and as span as a dandified man.
And his look is a heavenly joy;
And however he does it, whatever his plan,
We know he's the Santa Claus boy!
He jumps out of bed in the morning himself,
And he never lies still for the rest;
He dresses in haste with the skill of an elf,
And he washes and combs with the best;
He does up the chores while his small sister snores,
And his whistle no longer annoys;
He's the pride of the house and the king of out-doors,—
This wonderful Santa Claus boy!
He hastens to school with a heart full of glees,
And he never turns truant to play:
[155] His lessons he learns with the greatest of ease,—
He recites in a beautiful way;
And the teacher's so glad that the boy who was bad
All his failings has learned to destroy;
And she smiles with delight as she breaks up her gad,
At the change in the Santa Claus boy!
When the Sabbath day comes with its Sunday School hours,
He is never once absent or late;
And the verses he speaks beat the memory powers
Of the sages exalted and great;
But he dreams of a Tree, full of presents to be,
And with treasures that know not alloy;
And the vision he sees fills his bosom with glee
For the Sunday School Santa Claus boy!
Ah, well, this old codger laid up on the shelf,
In the rubbish piled high on life's ways,
[156] Knows how it all is,—he has been there himself,—
He has romped through the Santa Claus days;
Whatever appears, whether laughter or tears,
Let a song every moment employ,
As the world tosses gifts through the beautiful years
To the glad-hearted Santa Claus boy!

Caught on the Fly.

Young woman, learn to cook. No man wants his home turned into an experiment station for biscuit making.

In these last days, a man is known by the patent medicine promoter to whom he sends his testimonial photograph.

The man who gets stooped shoulders from carrying other people's heavy burdens went to the wrong school in his youth.

Religion is a mighty good thing, but it never pays the rent bill; and the Christianity of warm clothes and wholesome food beats its balance on the record books of the angels.


"'Twill All Come Right."

O, brother, don't you worry,
When the sorrow brings the night!
It is never long till morning,
And 'twill all come right.
Do the loads seem hard and heavy
As you bear them with your might?
Love will lift the bending burdens,
And 'twill all come right!
Do you feel the hate and malice
Of the foolish ones that fight?
They will find your heart is worthy,
And 'twill all come right!
Do your duty to the utmost!
Then the foes shall vanish quite;
Let the world howl on with censure,—
It will all come right!
God awaits us over yonder,
Where his lilies blossom white;
In his love the griefs shall perish,
And 'twill all come right!

The happy days when the mistletoe makes raptures for young hearts and loving lips will soon come 'round again. Heaven grant us all to be young and confiding enough for all the love and joy and the glad music of the Christmas times!


Good-bye to Trouble.

O, it's good-bye, Mister Trouble!
There's a joy the angels know,
With the mistletoe above us
And our sweet-hearts here below!
Then play the fiddle, Mister!
Love and laughter are in sight;
And swing your partners, fellers,
Till the dawning of the light!
O, its good-bye, Mister Trouble!
For the fiddle says, "Be gay!"
There's the mistletoe up yonder,
And we kiss the griefs away!

Caught on the Fly.

All things are forgiven to the woman who holds her tongue.

The greatest vice of the women is gossip, and the greatest folly of the men is greed.

If some people get to heaven, no one will be more surprised at the achievement than themselves.

Troubles have walked the highways of human life since the morning stars sang together; and yet when we meet them on the dusty roads we travel, we pretend astonishment and annoy high heaven with our cries.


Too Much Prosperity.

"Dis heah big cotton crap am a great calam'ty toh de cullud folks," said old Black Mose dejectedly.

"How is that, Uncle?" inquired the astonished white man.

"So many ob 'em hab sabed up emuff money toh buy tall hats en long—tailed coats dat de conf'rences will all be jam-full ob cullud preachehs befoh spring, en de cotton-fiel's'll miss some mighty good han's nex' season, shuah!" was the reply.

Little Sermons.

Don't go too much on the sensibilities. Feelings are a mighty poor regulator when it comes to determining the necessity for hard work.

The days of the gray hairs and wrinkled brows utter few petitions to the merry god of all the happy Christmas eves; but if they asked of Santa Claus the supremest gift in all the world of men, they would implore him for one more Christmas as happy and as innocent as smiled upon them in the days of childhood long ago!


To the Lonesome Fiddle.

You needn't look so lonesome, Mr. Fiddle, hanging there
With the pretty girls about you and the pleasures every where;
For I know your heart is heaven with its music angel sweet,
And it all will go to singing at the coming of the feet!
Then don't you look so lonesome!
The happy days we'll meet;
For the Christmas times are coming
And the dancing of the feet.
You needn't look so lonesome! In your happy soul abound
All the airs of royal rapture that the golden cycles found,
And the willing fingers waiting are staying close about,
Just to pick your heart to pieces and to coax the music out!
Then don't you look so lonesome!
The laughing lips shall meet
With the mistletoe above us
And the coming of the feet!
You needn't look so lonesome! I can see you laughing there
[161] To the tune of "Old Dan Tucker" as you drop the loads of care,
And the melodies immortal drive the troubles all away
As you spill the tender music of "My Darling Nellie Gray."
Then don't you look so lonesome!
All your dreams will come complete,
And Love will swing his partners
To the tripping of the feet.
O, you needn't look so lonesome! All the good times you shall feel
As you shout the mighty chorus of the "Old Virginia Reel,"
And Love shall join the music with the raptures that abound,
As we heel-and-toe-it lively and we "swing the ladies 'round!"
Then don't you look so lonesome!
Love and happiness shall meet,
And we'll shout good-bye to trouble
In the shuffle of the feet!

Let the boy eat! The grocery-man is a less expensive guest than the doctor, and mush and milk are more palatable than medicine.


"If Santa Claus Don't Come."

If Santa Claus forgets to come,
I don't know what I'll do;
I 'spect I'll get as bad as some
An' cry a little, too;
I wrote an' told him plain as day
What he should buy an' bring;
An' if he don't, I'll always say
That he's a mean old thing!
I want a drum to pound all day
Fer ev'ry passin' crowd;
A punchin'-bag an' foot-ball,—say,
An' gun that shoots out loud;
I'd like to have a pony, too,
An' big dog fer a chum;
Dear me, I don't know what I'll do
If Santa Claus don't come!
I'll hang my stockin's anyway!
They won't hold half enough,
But I'll jes' write a note, an' say
The place to leave the stuff!
I'll jump in bed at candle-light,
An' act both deaf an' dumb!
But 'twill be awful here tonight
If Santa Claus don't come!
Of course, he may not have to spare
Jes' ev'ry thing I lack,
An' yet I hope he'll leave me there
'Bout all a boy can pack;
[163] But If he'll come an' bring a few,
I'll not be very glum;
But oh! I don't know what I'll do
If Santa Claus don't come!

The Call of the Fiddle.

Don't you hear the fiddle, fellers?
It is singing to the bow
All the glory of the music
Underneath the mistletoe!
Then good-bye, Mister Sorrow!
For the cares have run away;
Love and music both are shouting
And we answer them "Hooray!"
Don't you hear the fiddle, fellers?
It is calling us to know
Joys that circle to the music
Underneath the mistletoe.
Then good-bye, Mister Sorrow,
Good-bye for many a day!
Love's lips are smiling at us,
And our hearts respond "Hooray!"

I have often thought it very appropriate that good resolutions come after instead of before the Christmas days. The heart is then in much better mood to give them pleasant welcome.


A Queer Dream.

"Ah done had a queeah dream las' night!" said Sambo.

"How was that? Tell us about it," said the interested white listener.

"Ah dreamed I wuz in hebben on Crissmuss eve, en de angels all had a Crissmuss tree en ole St. Petah played de Santa Claus, en de angels all got new French hawps in dey stockin's; en dey couldn't play 'em at all en de white angels all wanted fiddles en de black angels all wanted banjoes; en dey wuz a-havin' a awful time up dar, shuah!"

"Well, how did it come out?"

"Ah dunno how it come out! Jes' ez dey wus a'pintin' a ahbitratoh, my boy Jim sot up a howl foh 'possum en woke me up!"

The Same Old Gifts.

"What do you expect for Christmas, Major?" inquired the hospitable store-keeper as the gray-haired Major hobbled in with his crutch and rested his rheumatic leg on a sack of coffee.

"The same as usual, sir, the same as usual! My wife always works me a[165] pair of slippers two sizes too small, each one of the girls gives me a neck-tie I can't wear because of its color, and each of the boys a new-fangled revolver I can't shoot and have to turn over to them. Only my old army friend in Kentucky knows me well enough to know what I can use."

"What is that?" inquired the amiable store-keeper.

"Four gallons of mountain-dew fresh from the still, bless God! And I always get away with it in plenty of time for good resolutions on New Year's day!" replied the valiant Major, smiling and smacking his lips.

The Greatest Gift.

The Wise Men in the desert bare,
Heart-hungry in their need,
Behold a Star, and forth they fare
Wherever it may lead;
And find at last, full reconciled,
God's greatest gift,—a little child!

The ballot may be more powerful than the bullet, but sometimes the gun contains the wrong load.


For the New Year.


Through all this New Year's varied walks and ways,
Let us like kings Truth's royal raiment wear,
And whatsoe'er the burdens of the days,
With brave hearts bear;
For amid the starless night
Love exalts the lilies white,
And the hours of wrath and wrong
Leap with laughters of her song.


Wherever fate may lead the vagrant feet,
Let us hail Duty as Life's holy guest,
And in the shock of battle bravely meet
Foes breast to breast;
For unto the timid fields
Love her staunchest courage yields,
And her martial music thrills
To the summits of the hills.


Whatever fortune crowns imperfect deed,
[167] Let us keep Hope our comrade evermore,
Nor fear to follow where her banners lead
On sea and shore;
For despite the tears of men,
Love shall sing her songs again,
And beyond the wintry snows
Blooms the redness of her rose.


With Truth about us and with Duty near,
With Hope beside and Love along the way,
Life climbs the hills and all the darkness here
Grows bright with day;
For each fond beatitude
Crowns the dreams of greater good,
And the stars of living light
Lead the footsteps through the night!


Finally, brethren, finally,
We are marching to the sky,
And all this earthly music
Tunes us up for bye and bye!


If We Were Wise.

"If we were wise," said the social philosopher, "civilization would be of a different metal. But we are not all of us wise, and therefore we build court-houses and churches and sanitariums, and lawyers, doctors and preachers become necessary, all being the inventions of our lack of wisdom." And the man knew, for he had just been through the alimony court, turned out of church, and was on his way to a winter resort for the tinkering of his health.


A little day through which we play
In spite of wish and warning;
A little love along the way,
And then good-night,—till morning!

Pluck thou now the Good Resolution from the topmost bough of the sublime tree of righteous will; and preserve it as the apple of gold in the silver pictures of the life that has no ending.


Sighs and Songs.

Don't begin your sighing
When you see the snows;
Yonder blooms the lily;
Yonder burns the rose!
What's the use to shiver
When the blizzards blow?
Yonder blazes August
Hotter than you know!
Hope is ever ringing
All the bells she brings;
Keep a life of laughter
And a heart that sings.
Good-bye to the trouble!
Farewell to the wrong!
Man forgets the sorrow
When he sings a song!

Caught on the Fly.

The cart of imperfect deeds travels with more speed than the palace car of good intentions.

If the pew would practice only one day in the week what the pulpit preaches on Sunday, the Devil would put out all the fires in his settlement and join the angels before Saturday night.


The Third House.

Yes, they say the Legislature
Soon will come along and sit,
And for sixty days of wonder
We'll behold the likes of it;
But with all the mighty glory
That around it waves its wings,
Don't forget who does the voting
Nor the chaps who pull the strings!
There's the grave and mighty Senate
Full of statesmen wise and great,
With profound deliberations
Ere they choose to legislate:
But with all their stores of wisdom
They are slow at doing things,
For they only do the voting
While the Third House pulls the strings.
There's the House, a wondrous body,
Full of patriotic souls,
Each with ideas that would hurry
Up the world as on it rolls;
But before they get in action
Sober wisdom caution brings,
And they only do the voting
While the Third House pulls the strings!
[171] O, my dear, deluded people!
When the statesmen cure your ills,
Look around before you honor
Those who pass the proper bills!
To the fellows you elected
There is little glory clings,
For they only do the voting
While the Third House pulls the strings!
To the Third House bring your laurels!
There you'll find the wisdom rare,
Free to tell the verdant statesmen
How to legislate with care;
There you'll find the brain and virtue
That afar the evil flings:
While the others do the voting
These delight to pull the strings!

Play Ball.

In the great orchestra of life, if you can't play the first violin, beat the drum; if you can't beat the drum, pound the triangle; and if you can't contribute anything at all to the music, get in step with it and do the best job of marching in the army of the hopeful-hearted.


Sing a Little.

When the times are sad with sorrow,
Sing a little;
Things will brighten up tomorrow,
Sing a little;
And when all the world is gloomy and the storms around you roar,
Then stuff your heart with gladness and just sing a little more!
When you meet the bleak Decembers,
Sing a little;
There's a June each heart remembers,
Sing a little;
And if winter comes and lingers as he never did before,
Think of all the summer blossoms and then sing a little more!
If the cares of life oppress you,
Sing a little;
Joy will gladly come and bless you,
Sing a little;
And the Love that never wavers shall reward with happy store
While your heart is bright with sunshine and you sing a little more!

Remembered by Santa Claus.

"Well, what did Santa Claus bring you?" inquired Neighbor Jones of[173] Neighbor Smith on Christmas morning.

"Why, my wife got me a new silk dress and fur boa, my daughter bestowed a fine pair of No. 6 kid gloves, and each of my sons contributed a pair of skates and a sled. There is nothing like having Santa Claus remember you well, is there?" answered Neighbor Smith.

They had both been there so often that they went off behind the barn and took something to bring the sunshine in.

Evil Prophets.

The doleful prophets sadly say
That the world is going wrong;
But out yonder blooms the May
With its flowers and song.
The moaning brothers come and say
That the world is as dark as night;
But out yonder shines the day
With its laughing light.
O, brothers, don't you worry so!
Let us bravely march along;
The roses blossom where we go
Across the fields of song!


A New Year's Resolution.

I'm a New Year's Resolution:
I'm as good as good can be,
And the world will lose its follies
If 'twill only follow me!
I was sired by good intentions,
I was nursed with loving care,
Fully armed, like great Minerva,
From my birth to do and dare.
I'm a New Year's Resolution:
You can see me robed in white
Where the fortunes of the future
Men and nations come to write;
You have met my kith and kindred
As you struggled in the strife,
And you gave them love and praises
All along the ways of life.
I'm a New Year's Resolution:
I'm as good as good can be,
And the fates predict my goodness
Soon will prove the death of me;
But you'll honor me while living,
And if I should pass away
You will bury me in blossoms
In remembrance of today.
I'm a New Year's Resolution:
Treat me kindly as you can;
For I'm growing weak each moment,
[175] Starved to death by cruel man;
Soon I'll sleep among my fathers,—
What a countless host they make!
Who in childhood went to slaughter
For a good intention's sake!

Little Sermons.

One lapse from sunshine makes the whole world sin.

If you want to pluck nose-gays, you must wander in the sunshine to find the flowers.

The Devil would rather tackle a a good man in a discouraged mood than a hardened criminal with Hope singing in his heart.

A Hard World.

"Ah done tole yuh, Mose, howebber yuh fix it up, dat dis hyar am a mighty hahd wohld we lib in?" said one colored brother to another.

"How am dat, Sambo?"

"Why, we am allus habin' ouah troubles. No soonah am de Santa Claus bills paid, den de legislachuh come erlong en stay foh sixty whole days!" and he shook his head and refused to be comforted.


A Quartette of Don'ts.

Don't sleep too much. Remember what happened to Adam when he tried an experiment of that kind.

Don't talk too mean about the Devil. There is no telling how soon he may have the chance to roast you to a turn.

Don't neglect your privileges, brethren. There is more opportunity to get through the eye of a needle in the collection baskets than in the sermon.

Don't worry any about the dead. The good Lord will take care of them, and they don't cause him half as much sitting up at nights as the living do, and he always knows where to find them when the curfew blows.

It Died Young.

"Did you make a Good Resolution, Sandy?" inquired the inquisitive neighbor.

"Yes, but it didn't live long."

"Why, how's that?"

"Well, the good die young, you know, and when I went home that night I found it had crossed the river when I wasn't watching."


To the Love Lands!

O, my Heart, the days are weary with the burdens that we know:
Hand in hand we'll haste and hurry to the Love Lands long ago!
Let us stroll as happy lovers down the roaring ways of men
Till the lilies of contentment blossom sweetly once again.
It was there we wove our Daydream, it was there the Promise sung,
For the world from us was hidden and our little lives were young.
There were happy lanes of laughter that our childish rambles knew,
Where the roses gave their glories in a ruddy crown for you.
Let us wander through the deserts and the dusty ways they know
To the green fields and the meadows of the Love Lands long ago!
On the road, perchance, we'll gather some of sweetness and of song,
As we thread the dim aisles fearful and the pathways lorn and long.
You remember how we pledged us all the glories of renown,—
Pledged the gold of Ind and Ophir and the greatness of the crown.
[178] You remember how we pledged us in the fancies of our youth,
We would run the quest forever for the Holy Grail of Truth!
You remember how we pledged us we would banish want and woe,
As we laughed and sang the love-song in the Love Lands long ago!
What if we have failed to keep it?
Hard the struggle, fierce the throng,
And the shoutings of the rabble drown the glory of the song!
What if we have failed to keep it?
All the maddened mobs of hate
Hurl the stones of mirth and malice where Truth opes her timid gate!
Shall we sorrow at the wreckage that is heaped along the shore
Where the waters gnaw unceasing and endeavor sails no more!
Shall we sorrow that the laughters, left the shadows of the way,
And the cares of life unlifting fringed the rosy skies with gray?
Shall we sorrow without comfort for the dreams that fled in tears,—
For the hopes forlorn and shattered on the shores of other years?
[179] We have lost the glare and glamor of the dreams we dreamed of old,
But the Wise of earth have brought us of their frankincense and gold.
We have lost the green of May-time, but the autumn gardens red
Hang with all the fruited wisdom for the blossoms that are dead!
We have lost our foolish boasting,—we are cleansed of evil pride,
And we face the past and future with their vistas wild and wide!
Still, my Heart, the days are heavy!
Wisdom weights and wearies so!
Let us run away together to the Love Lands long ago!

Caught on the Fly.

Beauty is not always skin-deep. Sometimes it is put on with a rag.

If you don't want Trouble to bring her dogs and hunt all over your place for game, you should tack up warning signs over every fence-post on the premises.

Lots of money is said to bring lots of trouble. But, Lord, our shoulders are mighty broad and we always did think we would like to have experiences of that kind.


Trudge Along.

Trudge along, my brother,
Through the snows!
Over yonder wait the summer
And the rose.
Trudge along, my brother,
Trudge along!
Over yonder wait the angels
And the song!

A Fine Job.

"Ah done tole yuh, Mose, howsomevah de people conflastahgate, dese heah legislachuh pohsishuns am sho'ly de bes' places in all de wide woahld dat a cullahed man ebber had in de wintah time when de wood am skeerce en de snow flyin' high!"

"How come, Rastus?"

"Why, yuh fool niggah yuh, doan't yuh see dat Ah git foh dollahs a day jes' toh open en shut de dooah befoh en aftah de Sanatohs when dey come in en go out foh erbout two houahs a day, en den sot down by de hot fiah all de res' ob de time while anothah niggah shubbles in de coal whut anothah niggah totes in at de same good price!"


A True Hero.

He wore no crown, he had no sword,
He sat him in no throne of state;
He shed no blood, he spent no hoard,
And therefore was not great;
Yet to his tomb the nations throng:
His heart was love, he sang a song!

When Trouble comes to your front gate and hears you whistling in the back-yard it scares him so bad that he never stops running till he crosses the divide into the next settlement.

Little Sermons.

Taking it all up and down, this world is a pretty good place. Only so many of us never get up or down!

Lord, we don't ask to see a thousand miles ahead. All we want is light enough to keep out of the holes two feet ahead when the Devil gets after us.

Some folks are always boasting of how many miles they keep ahead of the Devil, but I'm always thankful when I just manage to keep out of his reach when he's grabbing at me.


Never Mind the Hills.

What matter the hills above us?
What matter the dismal road?
We're climbing to those that love us
And crossing to their abode;
And over the mountains we'll crown our quest
With beautiful blossoms of all that's best!

He Voted "Graft".

He was quite a famous statesman
From a district where the folk
Were so honest that their honor
Had become a standing joke;
But this man that represented
Such a people, such a craft,
Always shouted for "retrenchment,"
While he always voted "graft."
He was quite a famous "poser,"
And he had the nimble art
Of deluding men to thinking
That he owned an honest heart;
He was always hinting "boodle,"
At which hints the lobby laughed
For they knew he talked "retrenchment,"
But he always voted "graft!"
[183] He was frequent in the papers
With a lengthy interview
'Bout the "welfare of the people,"
And the "octopi" he knew;
And he made long-winded speeches
As he raked things fore and aft,
But he only talked "retrenchment,"
While he always voted "graft!"
O, the dear, deluded people,
Hear this Sermon from the Mount:
When a Bill is up for passage
It is only votes that count;
And you'd better watch the fellow
On the legislative raft
Who forever talks "retrenchment,"
And then casts a vote for "graft!"

Caught on the Fly.

The worst thing about failure is that it makes so many good people most unhappy.

The man who never laughs at all is as great a trial to his friends as is the one who laughs too much.

No beauty of Nature, either of heart or flower or fruit, was ever grown without the lavish use of sunshine for its development.


Joy is Here.

What to us is Trouble?
Joy is here today;
Care is but a bubble
Bursting with the May.
Onward we are drifting;
What if skies are gray?
All the clouds are lifting,—
Joy is here today!
Harbors over yonder;
Billows die away;
There we all shall anchor,—
Joy for aye and aye!

Something Left.

There's joy in Oklahoma!
Let's go it good and strong;
There's sunshine on the prairies,
The land is glad with song;
What though the cotton tumbled,—
What if the wheat was short?
We've corn for hog and hominy
Of every blessed sort!

Charity not only covers a multitude of sins, but she also tucks the quilts in around the feet and gets up in the middle of the night to see if the blanket is on straight.


Not Afraid.

"Aren't you afraid some of these lobbyists will persuade you by their eloquence into supporting some bad measure?" asked a friend of a member of the legislature.

"Not a bit of it, sir, not a bit of it! Just let them try it as often as they wish!" answered the confident statesman. "Just let me get at them one by one, privately, in a dark room with their pockets bulging with the eloquent long-green, and when they get away their pockets will be so dumb that they will be in no condition to make arguments again until they call on their employers for a new supply of oratory!"

A Blazing Future.

What's the use of getting blue
When the joys are so amazing?
This life's sunshine through and through
And the other life is blazing!

I have often noticed that the dog which uses up all his spare time in growling generally looks mighty hungry and seldom trees any game.


The Legislative Pass.

I'm a Legislative Pass:
I'm a wonder now displayed
In a large and growing class
Marching out on dress parade;
I am issued "on request"
From a statesman full of might,
And I'll never know a rest
Till adjournment is in sight.
I'm a Legislative Pass:
I am given free as air,
And I reach from shortest grass
To the farthest every where;
I am happy in the fame
That around me fondly flits,
Just to keep the statesmen tame
Till the Legislature quits.
I'm a Legislative Pass:
I have wondrous work to do,
And I use the mighty mass
Of my glories daily, too;
I'm considered pretty nice
By the hundreds of my friends,
That I carry without price
Till the Legislature ends.
I'm a Legislative Pass:
I'm the master of the state,
While the people think, alas!
They are something wise and great;
[187] Treat me kindly every day,
As I summon dear delight
Down the legislative way
Till adjournment is in sight.
I'm a Legislative Pass:
Fly with me,—there's no expense,—
From the weary ways of gas
And the halls of eloquence;
Let us travel far and fast!
Soon we'll journey nevermore!
For I know my day is past
When the Legislature's o'er!

Little Sermons.

The dog that believes in you is more inspiration than the tawny lion that distrusts you.

It was all right for the Christ to say, "Get thee behind me, Satan," but I'd rather keep him on in front where I can watch his tricks.

The man of most exemplary habits never finds congenial spirits to herd with. The marvel is not that Christ was crucified, but that he was allowed to live till he was thirty-three years old.


At Rest.

Fold the hands and let him rest!
He shall sorrow nevermore;
Grief has done her worst and best,
But his grief is o'er!
What to him the dangers dark,—
Terrors of the waveless stream?
God shall guide the helpless barque
Through the shadowed dream!
He has fought with storm and strife,
He has conquered, all alone;
He has plucked the rose of life
For his very own.
Farewell to the world of sighs!
He has laid the burden down;
Here each grief and sorrow dies,
And he claims the crown!

Caught on the Fly.

Fate is blamed with all the failures for which laziness is responsible.

The world may owe you a living, but you'll never be able to collect it till you foreclose the mortgage by hard hustling.

However late some people get up in the morning, they always have plenty of time to spare for other people's business before bedtime.


With a Song.

No matter what the weeping,
No matter what the wrong,
Just toss a kiss to trouble
And soothe him with a song.
When all the world is winter
And storms unceasing throng,
Just clasp your hands with sunshine
And warm them up with song.
When fortune flies the window
And leaves you lonely long,
Still hum the happy music
And sing it out in song.
The summer time is coming,—
Is coming good and strong!
A welcome for the roses,
A greeting full of song!
O, life is filled with shadows,
And sorrow still is strong;
But walk the ways with laughter
And climb the hills with song!

Live your own life so happily to yourself that neither men, women or devils can swerve you one degree from the divine light shining upon your direct pathway to the stars.


De Hant!


De Hant he come en hollah f'um de honey-locus' tree:
"Ah'd thank yuh, Mistah Niggah, foh dat money yuh owe me!"
But Ah gib Mis' Sal a banjo, en a silky scarf toh Chloe,
En de cotton's sho'ly squandah'd en dat's all dis niggah know!


De Hant he come en hollah f'um de bahn's ole gable deep:
"Whah's dat New Yaar Resolution dat Ah gib you-all toh keep?"
But Ah kep' it en Ah kep' it, twel ole Satan come erlong,
En dat New Yaar Resolution got a move on mighty strong!


De Hant he come en hollah right above de cabin doo':
"What yuh done wif all dem good t'ings dat Ah tole yuh 'bout befo?"
En Ah dassent answeh nothin'! En de ole Hant stay en stay!
When dis niggah wuzzent lookin', all dem good things run away!


Caught on the Fly.

When Hope comes on the scene, Trouble has urgent business over in the next settlement.

Don't wait to plant a flower for your neighbor until it has to blossom beside his tomb-stone.

Growling at the weather may give the tongue plenty of exercise, but it never buys meat and potatoes or swells the bank account.

Be confident. No coward heart ever won an important battle, and the battle-field of life is the one that demands the fullest courage.

Little Sermons.

Be thankful as long as there is a buttered side to your bread; and when the butter runs out, thank God for the bread!

Charity covers the sins all right, but many a poor sinner gets mighty short of blankets in the cold winter times of folly.

One heart of love and two glad lips of song have lifted many a mediocre soul up the slopes of happiness to the bright, eternal morning.


That New Year Resolution.

Dat New Yaar Resolution
He come to me en say:
"Ah likes de looks ob dis heah place,—
Ah hope yuh'll lemme stay!"
O, listen, listen, bruddehs!
Ah axed de angel in;
Ole Satan come en raised a row,
Ah tuhned him out again!
Dat New Yaar Resolution,
He scrumpshus company;
But dat fust day Ah's satisfied
He all too good foh me!
O, listen, listen, bruddehs!
A'll nebbeh tole yuh why,
But when ole Satan come erlong
Ah knowed it hed toh die!
Dat New Yaar Resolution!
Ah hollahed toh him: "Say!
Dis house am mighty crowded;
Ah wush yuh'd go erway!"
O, listen, listen, bruddehs!
Ah choke him in de th'oat;
En when ole Satan come erlong,
He wrop him in his coat!


"Said Governor Tom."

Said Governor Tom to the law-making boys:
"You are green at the bus'ness, I know;
It is well that you move rather slow;
If you'll let me advise,
You'll be worthy and wise,
And the people secure in their joys,—"
Said Governor Tom to the boys.
Said Governor Tom to the law-making boys:
"I will warn you of dangers that lurk
In the ways of your dangerous work;
If the lobbies entice,
You should take my advice,
And turn a deaf ear to their noise,—"
Said Governor Tom to the boys.
Said Governor Tom to the law-making boys:
"In the passing of measures immense
Is involved quite a lot of expense,
And the armies that stand
When there's peace in the land
[194] Are the most unproductive of toys,—"
Said Governor Tom to the boys.
Said Governor Tom to the law-making boys:
"It is well to remember the wills
Of the people who settle the bills,
And the anger that lurks
In the hosts at the works
Is a matter that greatly annoys,—"
Said Governor Tom to the boys!
The boys heard the message, each sentiment seized,
And then went ahead and did just as they pleased;
And no one would know
From the way that they go,
From the money they spend and the peace they destroy,
What the Governor said to each law-making boy!

Caught on the Fly.

If some people couldn't worry, or make others worry, they'd never have a moment of happiness.

Don't go gunning for happiness. When you are least expecting it she squats at your feet and hops out to meet you.


Little Sermons.

If there wasn't a Devil, some people would have nobody but themselves to blame their sins on.

When we link hands with pleasure for a few minutes, we forget all the wisdom Trouble has taught us through the years.

Some people like to move about so much, that if they bought a ticket for heaven they'd insist on getting a round-trip in order to be on the safe side.

If the golden streets could be dug up and carried off to the smelter, there'd be whole battalions of people lined up before daylight with grubbing-hoes on their shoulders waiting to stake off claims.

Mister Ground Hog.

Ole Mistah Groun'-hog rouse hisse'f
Fum dat long nap he take;
He say: "Ah 'spec' Ah'd bettah move,—
It's gittin' late, my sake!"
So he jes' rub his ole eyes wide,
En dress up foh a stroll;
[196] He wax his whiskehs up, en den
He crawl out ob his hole!
Up yondah shine de big red sun,
Eh-blazin' in the sky,
En at his side his shaddeh walk,—
So Mistah Groun'-hog fly!
He skeehed so bad he tuhn him 'roun'
En say, "Ah wake too soon;
Ah'll jes' go home en take a nap
'Twel Sunday aftehnoon!"
So Mistah Groun'-hog run en run
En crawl his deep hole in,
Toh snooze ehway foh six moah weeks
'Foh he wakes up ehgin!

When Trouble Came.

Ole Trouble come toh ouah house
One stohmy day en say,
"De road am hahd toh trabble,—
Ah hope you'll lemme stay!"
He staht toh hang his hat up,
En pull his ober-coat:
Ah box him oh de eah-muffs
En choke him in de tho'at!
Ah say, "Ole Mistah Trouble,
Ah'm pleased so much toh say
[197] Dis house am mighty crowded,—
You-all jes' go ehway!"
Ah take my happy fiddle
Up dah beside my hat,—
Ah play him Ole Dan Tuckeh,
En what you t'ink ob dat!

Wanted a Bill or Two.

"Where are you going, Rastus?" inquired the reporter of an old negro at the depot.

"Ah's gwine obah toh Guthrie whah dem legislachuh men am passin' dem bills!" was the reply. "Ah's done libed hyah long ernuff, anyhow, en ef Ah git obah whah de bills am a passin' dey may pass a few whah my pockets stay, sho'!"

Whenever you find a man who has made an ignoble failure of managing himself properly, you'll always find one who thinks he could give the Lord pointers on running the universe.


Look out for Trouble.

When yuh see ole Mistah Trouble
Jumpin' high ehlong yoh way,
Jes' twis' yoh lips toh puckah,
En whistle night en day!
He'll nevah stop a minute
Toh tell yuh how-de-doo,
But take ehcrost de kentry
En jump de fences, too!
Doan' spen' yoh time eh-gazin'
Up yondah at de sky:
It shuah will make yoh dizzy
En pain yoh lit'le eye;
Jes' keep yohse'f eh-lookin'
Clah down de way yuh go:
De bulgine sho'ly comin'
De fus' thing dat yuh know!
Doan' twis' yoh neck, my bruddeh,
Eh gawkin' at de sun;
He'll shine up dah forebbeh
No mattah whah yuh run;
Jes' look out foh de bresh-piles
En cross de mud-holes slow:
'Twill keep yuh mighty busy
Watchin' dese hyah paths yuh go!

Don't growl if Fortune didn't trust you with more. Just think what a fool she would have been to favor you with greater gifts!


The Good Times Song.

Sing a song of good times!
Life is full of bliss,
And the merry music
Who shall dare to miss?
Joy delights the valleys,
Plenty's everywhere,
And pleasure swells the chorus
Till we conquer care.
Sing a song of good times!
That's the tune for me;
The bow's upon the fiddle
And the fiddle's full of glee!
It's swing your pardners, honey,
And swing them all the night;
The good times call the measures
And we're dancing to the light!

Nobody Hurt.

"I hear that Slugem and Hittem met last night."

"Yes, so they did."

"Which one of them got the worst of it?"

"Oh, there was no damage done. They made it all up, and nothing suffered but their New Year Resolutions!"


In the Legislature.

"An' Oi say, Moike," said Patrick O'Ferrall, to his neighbor Mike O'Neill, "Oi say, Moike, have ye heerd from yer bye Dennis lately who wint out wist?"

"Thet Oi hev, Pat."

"An' how is the poor bye gettin' on?"

"The divil take it, Pat, thet's whut breaks his mither's heart ontoirely. He wroites me thet he hez jest bin sintinced to the Legislachoor fer two years!"

Life, and labor along its way,
Life, and a shade of sorrow;
But Love is there with her lips of song,
And the sun shines out tomorrow!

To live life happily, to work life earnestly, to leave life fearlessly,—what greater success ever crowned with ivied laurels the infinite brows of Adam's mortal sons?


On Behalf of the Minority.

Note—(The Oklahoma Legislature has a republican majority in both houses, and the following is supposed to be uttered by one of the democratic minority.)

To the Sleek and Fat Majority: We recognize your smoke,
And in meek and humble fashion we have passed beneath the yoke;
We've no foolish reservations: all the earth is yours to claim
With the grandeur of its glory and the fullness of its fame;
So accept our due submission; all we ask is that you give
Ample chance to filibuster and preserve the right to live!
In the manner that Respectable Minorities behave,
We shall justify the title while the heathen rage and rave;
And according as 'tis written we shall every one be good,
Though we smash the logs you're rolling into fancy kindling-wood,
While we stir the sleeping animals with long and lively prods
To the pleasure of the nations and the laughter of the gods!
[202] And we pity you sincerely! You had quite a job at hand
To divide the loaves and fishes as the bosses made command!
Fifty places for five hundred hungry souls that wild cavort
Is a work requiring statesmen of the most exalted sort:
And we weep our tears of sorrow as we're looking on at you,
While you bump the heads of many and anoint the chosen few!
You shall pass appropriations, tossing out the toothsome "pork,"
In a way to please the faithful and to keep the "boys at work;"
And whatever seems the proper thing majorities should do,
Why, the ocean's there before you and the course is up to you;
But remember as you voyage that we have a little boat,
And we're always steering madly tow'rd a record making vote!
We'll play our own part bravely, and we'll play it o'er and o'er:
Approve, condemn, and criticize, like statesmen gone before;
We'll rant about "the people, sir!" and shout "economy!"
[203] And stab appropriation bills each opportunity;
And long preserve our "honesty"—unstained and white as snow:
Since you have swiped the offices, that's all we have, you know!
And our task shall be most pleasant! Underneath the shade we'll flop
While you fellows do the sweating for the legislative crop!
We shall criticize your labors; if you reach the roads of doubt,
We shall lend the hand of wisdom and in mercy lead you out;
And at last, the harvest gathered, we shall sift the good and true
For our own exalted portion while we leave the bad for you!
And after while the time will come, howbeit soon or late,
When we shall guide the government and steer the ship of state,—
When we shall trade our craft for yours, and our proud flag shall float
O'er battle-ships of greater things as people then shall vote;
And then we'll show you something else beyond the hearty strife,
And do our best to visit you with touch of higher life!


At Valentine's Day.

The Wind came out of the poppied East,
And said to heart of the lonely earth:
"I bring you laughter and love increased,
And all the music of might and mirth;
I bring you dreams that were born above,
And melting kisses as sweet as wine;
And one waits lorn with her lips of love
And dimpled arms, for her Valentine."
The Wind came out of the brazen North,
And said to heart of the grieving world:
"I bring a message, I call you forth
Where Love the flags of her faith unfurled;
I tell of peace that is sweeter far
Than song that croons where the tropics twine;
For one waits long 'neath the northern star
With eyes of love, for her Valentine."
[205] The Wind came out of the winsome West,
And said to heart of the longing race:
"I bring you tidings of all that's best,
Of love and laughter and loved one's face;
I come from red of the reeling sun,
I bring you dreams of the things divine,
And at the rim of the world waits one
Who lists for the call of her Valentine."
The Wind came out of the sweet-breathed South,
And said: "I carry her call to thee;
She waits with songs in her mellow mouth,—
She waits, and her lips like the corals be!
She waits with embraces of long delights,
And eyes that utter a language fine,—
There, there, in the aisles of the romping nights,
She waits for the call of her Valentine."
[206] O, call of this world to the world that dreams,—
Sweet call of the Near to the Soul Afar,—
Beyond the shadows of earth's cold themes,
There's one that waits where the love lights are!
There's one that waits with her cheeks aglow,
And eyes earth-round with a fearless shine,
And Near and Far with their linked hands go
To mate with the fate of their Valentine!

Little Sermons.

There is more religion in a home full of bread and butter than a hotel full of canvas-back and terrapin.

If the Lord sends a tin-cup full of happiness, don't spend your time upbraiding Him for not supplying a ship-load.

Some people are so unreasonable that if the Lord sent them a turkey they would raise a row because he didn't furnish a barrel of cranberries, too.


A Valentine.

Don't you dare to tell me
Love is old and gray!
He's as young and rosy
As the blooms of May!
Don't you dare to tell me
Love is wed with wrong!
All his deeds are holy
With the smiles of song!
Don't you dare to tell me
Love is only strife!
Hands of his shall lead us
To the perfect life!
Love and hope with happy
Feet shall scale the sky,
Through the dismal shadows
To the bye and bye!

Its Principal Work.

"Has the Legislature done much?" inquired one anxious citizen of another.

"No, not much," was the answer. "Its principal act was to pass a bill repealing Ground Hog day, but they fear the Governor will veto it."


Life's Way.

When the heart grows weary
Of the storm and strife,
Don't you worry, dearie,
'Tis the way of life!
'Tis the way we wander
Through the world of wrong;
Sorrow makes us fonder
Of the smile and song.
Don't you weep or weary
At the storm and strife:
Love shall lead us, dearie,
Through this tangled life!

Caught on the Fly.

Some one's contrariness is responsible for nine-tenths of life's tragedies.

Popularity is an ice-box where men are preserved in cold storage against the fickle mob's changes in temperature.

When you board the train of life for the city of happiness, don't let Conductor Sorrow ring the bell and drop you off at the wrong station. Check your baggage through, and don't use the sleeping-car too much.


Uncle Joe and Statehood.

(Note: The press dispatches indicate that Uncle Joe Cannon, Speaker of the House of Representatives, is doing all he can to defeat the Statehood bill.)

If Uncle Joe'd come off the perch and let us build a state
We'd resolute to beat the band and call him wise and great;
We'd hand him taffy, chunk on chunk, and sling the sugar out
Till that old duffer'd surely think he's what you read about:
But your Uncle Joe is mighty and he has a stubborn will,
And he's done malicious murder to the Statehood bill!
It is true the bill is faulty; it is true if we'd our way,
It would need a lot of fixing ere it saw the light of day;
But we beggars are not choosers, and just any sort of state
Now would set the anvils roaring when we came to celebrate;
And we think he's small potatoes and quite scanty in the hill
When he sets himself to knocking on the Statehood bill!
[210] If he'd just be rather friendly, we would praise him up a bit
And we'd give him such a jolly that he'd lose his nerve and quit;
But he carries him so haughty and he bangs his hands so loud
That he scares the day-lights out us and he frightens all the crowd;
And whate'er his plan or purpose, it is plain he's bound to kill
That sweet child of all the statesmen that we call the Statehood bill!
If he'd listen to our troubles and his haughtiness relax,
Then the bill we love and cherish would escape the butcher's ax
But with him across the pathway, it as plain as day appears
That our hopes are only rainbows and we chase them down the years;
Oh, we wish him every gladness and we never wish him ill,
But we hope he'll quit his meanness to the Statehood bill!
Uncle Joey! Uncle Joey! Won't you for the once be good?
Won't you let us find fruition for the hopes misunderstood?
[211] If you'll only mend your manners and repenting let us in
We will jolly you forever, we will pat your cheek and chin;
Or we'll lay for you till doom's-day and we'll then be hoping still
That the boys will overrule you and will save the Statehood bill!

Small Bills.

"Is the Legislature passing any big bills?" inquired Weston.

"No I think not," said Preston. "I was over there the other day, and I couldn't even hear the crinkle of one bigger than $10!"

Caught on the Fly.

The homely virtues may be old, but they are still young enough to carry the world's burdens.

The crust on the pie at a charity dinner may be long, but it covers a multitude of culinary sins.

Every good thing in this world costs money; and since experience is the best thing of life it is always expensive, also.


The Sunny Side.

Oh, no matter what the weeping,
Or what awful ills betide!
Let us walk the ways of gladness
On the happy, sunny side!
When the sorrows come and settle
With their tears and cares and pride,
Don't believe their tales of sadness,
For there's still a sunny side!
What's the use to go to weeping
When the shadows wander wide?
For the sun is shining somewhere
And there's yet a sunny side!
It's no diff'rence what the weather,
What the flow of wind or tide;
There's the holy joy of living
And God keeps a sunny side!

Keep Busy.

Don't sit down so lonesome
Through the speeding years;
Drink the wines of gladness
And forget the tears.
Life goes down the distance
Swift as eagle's flight;
Stop to say "Good-morning."
And it ends "Good-night!"


Wait Awhile.

Don't you worry at the winter!
There's a streak of shine about,
And before the storm is over
There's a daisy peeping out!
Spring is coming clothed in beauty,
And her lilies laughing white
Wait beneath the melting snow-drifts
For the days of their delight!
Over yonder smile the gardens,
And the sky above is blue;
And your sweet-heart trips the meadows
With the roses red for you!

Little Sermons.

A man's conscience preaches more eloquent sermons than the Savior on the Mount.

If men were less evil, it would be much easier for their fellows to walk the narrow way.

If the Bible reduced virtue to a mathematical demonstration of its cheapness over Vice, the mourner's bench would break down with the repentant sinners.


At the End.

At the end of the day
What reward shall we gain
For the pleasures of play
And the presence of pain?
When the sun shall have set
What reward shall we get?
As we sing and we sigh
Through the years' tangled ways,
Through the winter's wild cry,
Through the blooms of the Mays,—
When the years all have set,
What reward shall we get?
Through the battle and strife,
Through the right and the wrong,
We shall climb to the life
Where the years are a song;
When the sun shall have set,
There's a crown we shall get!

If the Luxuries and Vices were banished from this world, Virtue would get so rich in a twelve-month that she would summon them all back and give them greater liberties than they enjoyed before.


A Popular Preacher.

"Ah done tole yuh, Sam, dat new pweacheh ob ouahs am de bestes' man in de pulpit dat ebbeh Ah see."

"How come, Rastus?"

"Why, doan't yuh know, de otheh night when de weatheh wuz so mighty col', he nebbeh said a wohd ehbout hell-fiah, but jes' exhohted ehbout hebben bein' a wahm en pleasan' place whah de flowehs bloom en de wohteh millions git red heahts de whole yeah roun'; en sebenteen ob dem young sinnehs come up to de mohneh's bench en got 'ligion mighty quick!"

An Incurable.

"And what is the peculiar derangement of this patient?" asked a visitor of the Superintendent of the Insane Asylum, as an especially abject victim was seen writhing and cowering in a padded cell.

"O, he is not insane,—he is just a common idiot," said the Superintendent. "He sent comic valentines, and they had no other place to put him!"


Good Morning,—Good Night!

As life with its glories
Crowds close in the light,
Tell pleasure good-morning
And sorrow good-night.
No matter what fortune
Comes down in swift flight,
Tell pleasure good-morning
And sorrow good-night.
Walk still in the sunshine,
Where blossoms bloom bright;
Tell pleasure good-morning
And sorrow good-night.
And out through the orchards
Where mirth rules in might,
Tell pleasure good-morning
And sorrow good-night!

It is always easy to find plenty of weeds in the garden of life, if you are looking for weeds; but then even the weeds have blossoms of love upon them!


Kansas Has Her Dander Up.

When Kansas gets her dander up and reaches for her gun,
I think some folks will chase themselves and hike out on the run;
I think the railroads will be good, John D. come off the perch
And christianize the Standard Oil until it joins the church;
I think the trusts and wicked men that once were all so bad
Will mercy pray when once they know that Kansas can get mad!
The people there have stood a lot since first the state began;
They've passed through many trying times as varied seasons ran;
They've had the drouth, survived the flood, and isms good and ill
Have overcome with sturdy heart and never-dying will;
But now with patience broken quite new battles must be won:
And Kansas has her dander up and reaches for her gun!
The Octopus must watch his ways and guard his awful arms,
And keep his eyes peeled mighty close around the Kansas farms;
[218] The days of peace are over there! too long the robber-trust
Has rifled all their pocket-books and left them but a crust;
But Kansas has a sudden way of stopping all the fun,
When once she gets her dander up and reaches for her gun!
"John Brown of Ossawatomie!" There's freedom in the phrase!
St. John with prohibition and old Peffer with his craze!
And now the world is waiting for the fire-works and the sights
When Trusts will get insomnia and lie awake of nights;
For she will take the bakery and capture every bun,
When Kansas gets her dander up and reaches for her gun!
O, bold and reckless financiers! Take warning ere you fall!
You'd better stop awhile and read the writing on the wall!
Your hands are red with human blood, they're dripping human gore,
And by the gods above they swear, you shall not rule them more;
[219] With hands that act, with hearts that dare, she'll get you every one,
For Kansas has her dander up and reaches for her gun!

Caught on the Fly.

The language of love is mostly adjectives of the superlative degree.

At twenty, life is purpose; at thirty, doubt; at forty, philosophy; and after that, experience.

No woman ever was so much of a woman that she was not still enough of a child to enjoy being petted and flattered.

Rolling on to Glory.

Rolling on to glory,
Still the old world goes!
Still the ancient story
Of the wants and woes;
Here a little sighing,
There a little song,
Preaching, praying, dying,
Down the ways of wrong!
Rolling on to glory,
Still the old world goes,
Through the battles gory
[220] Of the friends and foes!
Here it sees a vision,
There it gains a truth,
Moving with precision
To immortal youth!
Keep the laughter sunny
As you walk the night:
Neither might nor money
Brings the living light!
Still the ancient story
Love, the Wonder, knows:
Rolling on to glory
Still the old world goes!

Don't Fall Out with Life.

Don't fall out with life, my brother;
It will please, you like as not;
If you'll sort its pleasures over,
You will find it worth the living,
And it's all the one you've got!
You would better keep it friendly
And not rib it up to fight:
It will play you joyous music,
It will give you love unceasing,
If you only treat it right!
Don't fall out with life, my brother,
If it slaps you in the face:
Every time it brings a shadow,
Every time it gives a sorrow,
[221] There's a rain-bow 'round the place;
O, its heart is filled with pleasure
And its raptures slay the wrong;
All the stars repeat its praises,
All the suns exalt its glory,
And you'd better join the song!
Don't fall out with life, my brother!
If it has the wintry snows,
There's the scarlet of the summer,
There's the russet of the autum,
With the lily and the rose;
It holds harvests for your labor,
It has crowns for you to win;
Open wide the glory-shutters,
Fling the doors of deeds far-open,
Till the sunshine saunters in!

Not Extravagant.

"Are the members of the legislature extravagant in their habits?" inquired a suspicious citizen of a press reporter.

"No, not at all!" answered the veracious reporter. "I know several of them who came here at the beginning of the session with a clean shirt and a five-dollar bill, and they haven't changed either of them yet!"


Away from the Winter.

Away from the Winter and all his wild ways,
To the blossoms that smile in the spring's laughing days,—
To the rivers that sing
In the gladness of spring,
Where the birds cleave the air on the love-laden wing!
Away from the walks of the snow-smitten town
To the fields where the bees for the honeys go down,
To the vales and the hills,
And the love-singing rills,
And the song of disconsolate, grieved whippoor-wills!
Away to the paths where the white lilies grow
And the daisies besprinkle the meadows below;
Where the roses blush new
In the arms of the dew,
And the stars toss the sweets of their kisses at you!


Just be Patient.

Don't you worry at stupidity! It may be trying some
Just to keep your patience present when the dullard pounds the drum,
And the discord of his rumpus fills the palace of your soul
With a horrid inclination that you hardly can control;
But the world keeps making music, and as on the ages fly
It will learn the angel chorus, and will sing it bye and bye!
Don't you worry at the darkness! It may seem a little thick
As through life's entangled thickets you your pathways try to pick,
And the struggle for advancement seems so bitter as you roam
Through these vagrant ways of wonder to the beacon-lights of home;
Over yonder shines God's lantern! And the shadows all shall die,
In the glories of the sunshine when we reach the bye and bye!
Don't you worry at the winter! When the snow is all about;
It may seem a time of trouble for the blossoms peeping out,
[224] And the sere leases of the forest and the dead grass of the hills
Bring a set-back to the roses and the lilies have the chills;
But the world is rolling onward! and the spring is drawing nigh,
When the birds will spill their music through the blossoms bye and bye!
There's no need to get impatient! All the tangled ways will cease,
All the outer darkness vanish, all the battles end in peace;
All the griefs that vex and hurt us, all the ills that worry so,
Shall forsake the roads we wander and the weary paths we go!
Up and on the world forever! Up and on to meet the sky,
And the Good shall slay the Evil in the blessed bye and bye!

Off the Reservation.

There is war throughout the country! Don't you hear it rage and roar
From the West Virginia mountains to the California shore,
[225] O'er the Illinois prairies and the valleys of Mizzoo,
Far across the plains of Kansas and of Oklahoma, too?
'Tis the people that are marching! They've a purpose that is just;
They have left the reservation and are smashing at the Trust.
It has been a time of patience; for the folks were slow to wrath,
And they thought to go it easy down the Standard's stony path!
But the loads were heaped too heavy, and the patient oxen broke
From the proddings of the drivers and they splintered up the yoke;
And however much the masters shout their curses through the dust,
They have quit the reservation and are out to smash the trust!
Yet it was no sudden movement that expanded in a night:
It for months and years was coming with tornadoes full of might:
And the fuse was in the powder and the sure result was seen
When Tom Lawson stuck a fagot in the mighty magazine!
[226] Then the people knew the Issue! Either yield or fight they must,
So they quit the reservation and went out to smash the trust!
Tommy Lawson! Tommy Lawson! What a naughty boy you are,
Stirring up the people this way till they rise and shout for war!
Don't you wish you hadn't done it? You are like to break the rule
Of the "System" and the Standard and disrupt the Sunday School!
For the people are so earnest, in the ire of their disgust
They have left the reservation and are out to smash the trust!

Caught on the Fly.

If the bad people never made scandal, what would the good people have to talk about?

Opportunity may call once, but she never rings the bell for the servant when she finds us visiting our wife's folks.

The lazy man is always willing to give the hustler a big percentage for collecting the living that the world owes him.


Don't Trade with Trouble.

Don't make a trade with Trouble!
He would buy you bargain cheap,
And you'd have to pay a ransom
That would climb up mighty steep!
Don't sell yourself to Trouble,
'Cause he banters you each day!
Out beyond the snows of labor
Wait the blossomings of play!
Don't make a trade with Trouble!
Never stop to name a price;
Tell him plain he'd better travel
Without any more advice!
Trouble never paid a dollar
Of the mighty debt he owes;
Don't sell yourself to Trouble
And the sorrows that he knows!

Little Sermons.

The Devil has such a good appetite that you can't afford to have him boarding at your hotel.

Broken heads are more numerous than broken hearts, and they also pay more fines in the police court.

When Faith and Hope leave a woman's heart, it is entirely empty of the graces; for Charity never had a home there.


Life and Love.

Life, and the trouble that comes along,—
Life and the griefs it carries;
But Love comes by with her lips of song,
And the joy that forever tarries!
Life and the love and the bliss supreme,—
Life and the smiles of gladness;
And the song she sings is a holy dream
Where the soul forgets the sadness!

Where Love Abides.

We walk in the present as roamed we the past,
With gladness before us and joys unsurpassed,
And Love lights the new days as Love lit the old,
With the smile of her joy and the laugh of her gold!
The world and its sorrows no longer supreme
Fade away in the smiles of the wonderful dream,
[229] And the light of its love overshines the abode
Of the shadows that falleth on beautiful road.
O, Sorrow, stay far in the desolate night,
Where the black of your wings bears the black of your flight,
And hasten, O tears, down the deserts that lie
In the silences vast of the bleak bye-and-bye!
O, Joy, tune the stars till they sing through the night,
While Love wreaths the lilies of Good with delight,—
Till the stars fill the earth with the seraphim song,
And Love with her garlands hides all of the wrong!

Keep in the Light.

It's no use to court the shadows!
They will hide your heart in night!
If you want to gather roses
You must linger in the light!


It's Good bye, Mr Speaker.

O, it's good-bye, Mister Speaker, when the motion to adjourn
Says the stuff is off forever and forbids us to return!
And there's much of tears and laughter, much rejoicing and regret,
At the measures we enacted and the things we didn't get;
But the sixty days are over! And this hope each heart imbues
That the people are forgiving and our errors will excuse!
It was sixty days of labor with but little recompense;
It was sixty days of struggle with the rivalries intense;
It was sixty days of effort to enthrone the people's will,
And to legislate the good things and the evil things to kill;
And if we but scanty trophies for our battles can display,
Still it's good-bye, Mister Speaker! We are going home today!
We have found there's something mighty in the large affairs of state,
[231] And we know beyond a question it is hard to legislate!
For there stand so many fellows plucking at the public goose,
That it's moving lofty mountains when you try to pull 'em loose!
But it's good-bye, Mister Speaker! If we failed to do the best,
Let's be glad at what we purposed and surrender all the rest!
It is pretty safe to figure that the legislature man
Shall receive but scanty praises though he does the best he can,
And with fellows on the left of him and fellows on the right,
Full of sage advice and counsel, his is not a happy plight;
But the record has been written and for us it stands for aye,
So, it's good-bye, Mister Speaker! We are going home today!
O, it's good-bye, Mister Speaker, and it's farewell this and that,
And it's wish you well, my brother, with the work you labor at!
And if we have missed our calling and we don't deserve applause,
Nevermore we'll leave the furrow just to tinker at the laws;
[232] If we failed, 'twas worth the trying, whatsoe'er the people say,
But it's good-bye, Mister Speaker! We are going home today!

A Memory.

A scarlet on the maples,
A daisy down below,
And perfumes of the gardens
That blossomed long ago!
Love lifts the face of morning,
And walks the twilight late,
And one is there beside me
And leans across the gate!
Love sings her angel music
Through all the laughing days,
And we, the lovers, loiter
Adown the rosy ways.
O, scarlet of the maples,
O, daisies down below,
And perfumes of the gardens
That blossomed long ago!

Richly Deserved.

"I see Jingles is becoming quite a poet. I presume he must have got a good deal for that last poem of his."

"Yes, I think he deserved six months for it, at least!"


Sunny Side Out.

Though the skies are gray and gloomy
And the shadows hang about,
Yet the world is bright and bloomy
When the sunny side is out.
There is still an angel chorus
That shall put the griefs to rout,
And the sorrows flee before us
When the sunny side is out.
Then ring the bells of glory
And swing them with a shout!
This life's a laughing story
When the sunny side is out!
And fill the lips with laughter!
Let ancient worries pout!
With joys before and after
And the sunny side still out!

Little Sermons.

It's a mighty poor religion that isn't better than some of its devotees.

If God is in your debt, you can meet the Devil's sight drafts on demand.

The honest doubter will be welcomed to glory while the canting hypocrite is hustled into the patrol wagon for the infernal regions.


Fishing Time.

Yonder by the river
Grasses growing green,
And the wild birds singing
Over all the scene!
Yonder by the river
Violets are blue,
And the skies are dropping
Tender dreams of you!
Yonder by the river,
Where the ripples sing,
In the tangled thicket
Burns a crimson wing!
Yonder by the river!
We have waited long;
Let us greet the sunshine
With a smile and song!

Life's Eternities.

Who can measure the dynamic force of one small life, or even of its smallest act? Verily, he that plants faith and hope in one brave heart and summons it with trumpet call to the lofty labors of the rolling years, has borrowed creative energies from the treasuries of God and throned eternal might to rule again among the skies!


The Days.

Day-time and night-time,
Bright and black weather,
Life-song and love-song
Blended together!
Sorrow's an exile
At Joy's high endeavor;
Tears for a moment,
Then laughter forever!

Little Sermons.

A bowl of hot soup is sometimes more christian than a cup of cold water.

Even a bald-headed man can be a prophet. There was Elijah, for instance, whom the bears revenged.

Patience is sometimes imposed upon. Job not only had great suffering, but his friends lectured him about his sins.

Spring is the creative season of the world. Then all the creatures of earth and air, of sky and sea, find their well-loved mates, and though the individuals pass away, the pair grows all immortal in the children of their love.


When the Birds Come Back.

When the birds come back! When the birds come back!
There's a call of rolling music for the lonely hearts that lack,
And across the hills and valleys that have silent been so long
There's a lilt of love and laughter and a rhapsody of song;
And the cares that brought the sorrows and the shadows bleak and black
Hide away their gloomy faces, when the birds come back!
When the birds come back! There's a sky of sweeter blue,
With the breezes blowing softer and the blossoms peeping through;
There's a daisy in the meadows and a green upon the trees
With a welcome for the songsters and their swelling melodies;
And the pleasures trip the measures and their happiness unpack
Over all the waking wood-lands, when the birds come back!
When the birds come back! Ah, the wonders of the spring
And the blossoms that are longing for the choruses they sing!
[237] And the roses that are sleeping through the darkness of the night
Till the love-song calls and summons to the lover and the light!
Then we sail the seas of laughter, though the tempests lower black,
As the blossoms greet the morning, when the birds come back!
When the birds come back! Ah, the days of heaven when
All the songs shall sing forever down the perfect ways of men,
And the lilies and the roses in the fields of death and doom
Shall engarland all the path-ways with the bright of bud and bloom!
What if long the wait and watching? What if sky and sun are black?
Songs and blossoms come to meet us, when the birds come back!
When the birds come back! When the birds come back!
O, the raptures and the rhapsodies that follow in their track!
How the memories of by-gones and the joys of other days
[238] Smile again with angel faces down the world's entangled ways!
And the pleasures come and crown us with the garlands that we lack,
When the sunshine floods the valleys and the birds come back!

The Ways of Life.

The rough way, the hard way,
The way that seems so long!
Yet still the sweet and happy way
Across the fields of song!
The sad way, the dark way,
The way that leads above;
And still the bright and golden way
Across the fields of love!
The love way, the song way,
The way we gladly go,—
The way of blossoms sweet and fair
And all the dreams we know!

What the world may think of a man is of small consequence either to him or the world; but what he thinks of himself is of infinite and imperishable importance to all the realms of creation.


Mister Blue-bird.

"Mister Blue-bird! Mister Blue-bird!
Don't you think it's rather soon
For the making of your music,
And the striking of a tune?"
"I have heard the lone trees calling
And the meadows barren long,
For the laughter of the lovers
And the raptures of the song!
"I have heard the dark buds waiting,
And the roses red to be
Sent the wailing of their wishes
In a message after me!
"Never think I come too early!
I'm the messenger of spring,
And the roses and the lilies
Never waken till I sing!"

He has Lived in Vain.

The poor man who never was a country boy, and made cider, milked the cows, ran off and went swimming, kissed the girls at apple-cuttings and husking bees, bred stone-bruises on his heels, stacked hay in a high wind and mowed it away in a hot loft, swallowed quinine in scraped[240] apple and castor oil in cold coffee, taught the calves to drink and fed them, manipulated the churn-dasher, ate molasses and sulphur and drank sassafras tea in the spring to purify his blood,—that poor man has lived his sinful life in vain!

Good-bye to the shadows!
Good-bye to the night!
We'll walk in the sunshine
And laugh in the light;
And the roses and lilies of God's holy love
With their garlands shall crown us for mansions above!

The hewers of wood and the drawers of water do but little of the real work of the world. The horse, the ox, the insensate thing of steam and steel, does quite as much and more. But the men who dream,—who put something of brain and heart and soul into the clods and fashion them into things of beauty for mankind,—these lift the burdens off the shoulders of the race and plant a song upon the lips of toil!


"Say Good-bye to Sorrow."

Say good-bye to Sorrow,
And her ways of night;
Song for you will borrow
Every sweet delight.
Say good-bye to Sorrow,—
Put the rogue to flight;
Pleasures come tomorrow
With the blossoms bright.
Say good-bye to Sorrow!
When she pounds your door,
Tell her there's the highway
And to call no more!

Caught on the Fly.

The hired hand who needs no boss to keep him busy earns double wages.

Money may buy bread and clothes, but every thing except happiness can be purchased on credit.

The monument and the mausoleum both perish from the world; but the dreamer who created them lives forever in the hearts of his fellow-men, and fashions daily something of their lives.


The Call of the Master.


This the call of the Master, and this is the great Command:
"Forward, march, to the shadows!
Fare forth to the Slumber Land!
There's the crown and the purple!
And there is the smile and song,
Past the ways of the weary, and over the hills of wrong!"


Forth at call of the Master! Still forth for his perfect grace!
Sweet the vision of valor, and fair is the loving face!
Swift the cradle forgetting, and far from the sob between,
March to reign of the rain-bow, and dreams of the years unseen!


Rolls the sword in a circle! The whirl and the flash of fire,
Burn the years like a cinder and claim for their monstrous hire!
Croon of cradle, be silent! And down, thou curtain of doom!
Weird as sobs of the midnight the dirge of the wailing tomb!



Brothers, step to the music! Still on with a shout and song!
Flags above for the triumphs o'er struggles so lone and long!
Croon of cradle and love-song! The ditty and dirge of strife,
All are daughters of duty and call to the golden life!


See, the purples of even! Lo, Love has a rosy hand!
Hate fades dim in the distance and grief is a far-off land!
Sweet, 'tis time for the slumber!
With croon of the cradle-song,
Rest we there in the Father's arms where the little ones belong!

Dry your eyes, my love, and we
Both shall laugh with rhapsody,
Hand in hand through all the days
And the world's peculiar ways!
What to us unhappiness
Of the sad heart's storm and stress?
Joy shall hold our hands and twine
Heart to heart through storm and shine!


The Baby's Hand.

In these days of loot and lucre
When no chap can get enough,
And the man that wins the praises
Is the one that gets the stuff;
When the fellow with a plenty
Of the "long green" at command
Is the one that knocks persimmons
From the tall trees of the land,—
What for me shall such things matter? There's a glory more divine
Than the jingle of the guinea with the baby's hand in mine!
O, it's nice enough,—the money,—
When the weather's fierce and blue
And the blankets of its comfort
Come and warm the heart of you!
But it soon demands the minutes
Every hour and day and week,
With the gall of angry despot
And a most unmeasured cheek;
So I'm reconciled to leave it and its tyrannies resign
For the ways of love and laughter with the baby's hand in mine!
For the jingle of the dollars
Soon disturbs the dearest dreams
[245] With the thunders of their madness
And the rumble of their schemes,
Till the heart and brain are weary
And the revel of their roar
Drive away the mirth and music
From the longings evermore!
But the skies above are bluest and the heavens all a-shine
With the faces of the angels when the baby's hand in mine!
Mister Midas, take your millions
And the glitter of your gold!
Life has treasures where the heart is
That have never yet been told!
There are sweeter things to cherish,
There's song of earth and sky,
That are only faintest whispers
Of the raptures bye and bye!
You have little that I value! Let for me the roses twine
With the laughter of the lovers and the baby's hand in mine!


Little Sermons.

The prophets only dared to preach what other men felt but chose to conceal.

The Devil is only the personification of the evil things which men find in their own souls for conquering.

Courage is so rare in the presence of priest-craft that when it once speaks it fashions creeds for all the centuries.

Caught on the Fly.

A Christian hand achieves more blessings than a religious heart.

If virtue were as expensive as vice, we would all be malefactors.

It takes plenty of grit to keep a proper edge on the tools of success.

There is always a hole for the fellow that wants out, if he is dirty enough to crawl or dig.

What matters it if the peaches are killed and the wheat crop proves a failure! The water-melon crop is still ahead of us, and a heaven of joy in every ruddy heart!


Love and Song.

Ah, Love is no phantom,
Love's never a dream!
One hour in her kingdom
Is life all supreme!
And ever and ever
The scepter she swings
For hearts that are happy
With laughter that sings!
And Song is her sister
That makes for the feet
All the carpets of roses
And blossoms so sweet!
With hands linked together
They wander the ways!
How joyous their kisses
For grief-laden days!

Sooner Sayings.

The race is not to the swift but to the fellow who starts the night before.

Money not only makes the mare go, but it saves you from standing in line at the land-office.

A journey made before the proclamation is issued is a valuable experience and saves much perjury afterwards.


We'll all go to the Promised Land at the time of the big opening; and God grant that we get a filing on a fine claim and no contest.

There is no use in trying to sooner past St. Peter. Have your booth certificate properly signed and ready for inspection or he won't put your name down on the books.

Don't expect to hold down a claim in the New Jerusalem unless you live on it. This thing of using two poles and a hole in the ground for a homestead residence, won't work when you make your final proof.

Caught on the Fly.

Clouds are found where the most flowers bloom: only the desert is a land of clear skies.

War may be a gentleman's game, but the Devil usually wins the most stakes before it breaks up.

All the griefs and tears of the world would cease if Love could only have her way for a very little while.


All Fool's Day.

God bless the man who hallowed April First!
(Or was it, after all, some saintly woman?)
May countless barrels of honors brimming burst
Across the realms he rules so super-human!
A wondrous person he in every part
With true affection filling all his heart!
For 'tis but proper that one holy day
From all the hundreds should be consecrated,
While Nature triumphs over Arts' display
And Life's dear memories are celebrated:
This day is ours! Behold, no master rules!
We all are equals in the Realm of Fools!
The Cap and Bells to active work awake,
All dressed in motley garbs for their appearing,
With no disguises for the parts we take,
[250] Forgetful of the maskings so endearing;
And we, the fools before we posed as men,
In common claim our heritage again!
E'en every dog, they tell us, has his day,
On which fond fortune comes and cheers and blesses;
And as the years roll on their endless way,
This one and that go by with soft caresses,—
How proper, then, that one day from the throng
Should unto Us and all the Fools belong!
There are no wise men to contest our claim,—
This day is ours,—is ours without disputing!
Who boasts his wisdom bows his head in shame
And knows his folly ere it goes to fruiting;
The truth we speak! Today we proudly know it,
And in the open to each other show it!
[251] We meet as equals once for all the year!
The wise and foolish shout with kindred laughter;
No greater and no smaller fools appear,
And Folly flouts the dullard calling after!
No tryant reigns! No hoary falsehood waves
Imperial scepters over willing slaves!
Then doff the fetters and discard the chains!
Today is ours and let us be rejoicing!
Forget the wise men and their soggy brains
While we our native follies now are voicing!
We all are fools! Let all the Fools unmask!
One great inheritance is all we ask!

Some men throw a dollar in the contribution box and immediately figure compound interest on it at two per cent per month.


In the Orchards of Spring.

A cloud of white in the orchard
And blossoms fair in the sun,
When love comes by in the morning
And sings till the day is done!
A cloud of white in the orchard!
O, branches hung with the bloom
At touch of her fairy fingers
And breath of her sweet perfume!
A cloud of white in the orchard
And skies with their deeps of blue,
And songs of the purple morning
That come at the thoughts of you!
A cloud of white in the orchard,
Where Love and her feet has run,
Where you came by in the morning
And stayed till the set of sun!
O, cloud of white in the orchard
And days with the skies of blue!
And songs that were sweet with laughter
And sang with the lips of you!
The white is there in the orchard,
The blossoms break as of yore,
But silent the song and the laughter
For you will return no more!


Sunshine or Shadow.

Sunshine or shadow,
Righteousness or wrong,
Here we pluck a blossom,
There we sing a song;
Whether morn or even,
Whether noon or night,
Stars are there above us
With their love and light!
Sunshine or shadow!
Through the changing years,
There is love and laughter,
There is toil and tears!
But the stars above us
Blossom in the blue,
And the days are singing
Through the lips of you!

The great souls of human history have come from the deserts and the waste places of the earth to wield the sword and to hold the scepter, to sing the great song and prophesy of holiness and peace. Solitude is the true mother of dauntless men, and from her divine ministrations they walk forth to lead and conquer and make new epochs in the history of the race.



Day-dreams and night-dreams,—
All the dreams you will;
Black dreams and bright dreams
Up and down the hill!
What if nights are gloomy?
What if days are sad?
Life is always bloomy
With the roses glad!
Day-dreams and night-dreams,—
All the dreams you will;
Love is there with kisses
Through the good and ill!
Love is there with music
And her heart so true,
And amid the shadows
Still the eyes of you!

Caught on the Fly.

Back-bone is the chief ingredient in the hash mixture of greatness.

There may be plenty of room at the top, but it's a mighty cold place to spend the winter.

Love never has time to spare from joy while she demands or listens to explanations of a fault.


Teddy's on a Hunting Trip.

"Let the meeting be in order!" said the chairman, looking wise;
(And a mountain lion was he of the most enormous size!)
"There is business of importance to consider; for they say
That a danger swift and sudden on a special comes this way;
I can feel it in my whiskers, and I hear it in the air:
Mister Teddy's gone a-huntin' and is loaded up for bear!"
Then old Bruin rose: "This Terror has no pets among the brutes,
And the first thing in his path-way is the first thing that he shoots!
Even cotton-tails" (The rabbits in their burrows flattened out!)
"Have no promises of safety when he wanders hereabout;
From the grizzly to the chip-munk it is well to have a care;
Mister Teddy's gone a-huntin' and he's loaded up for bear!"
Then up rose the wolf in wisdom: "I am sure that Bruin's right,
And this Mister Man with Big Teeth slaughters every thing in sight!
[256] Why, they say he wears a slicker and sleeps close beside his nag
On the pommel of his saddle in a mammoth sleeping-bag!
We must watch him mighty careful or a common fate we share;—
Mister Teddy's on a huntin' trip and loaded up for bear!"
"Mister Chairman!" Said the Old Deer with broad antlers great and strong,
"I have roamed the woods and prairies and endured the dangers long,
I've escaped the hunter's rifle, I've survived the winter's cold
And the summer's heat undaunted, with a courage brave and bold;
But my coward legs now tremble, even I the panic share:
Mister Teddy's on a-huntin' trip and loaded up for bear!"
"Mister Chairman!" cried the Woodchuck in a voice, defiant, shrill,
"By what right does Mister Big Teeth come to slaughter us and kill?
Is not he our chosen ruler, sworn to keep the law intact,
[257] And to serve his faithful subjects with his every thought and act?
Let us fight if he would slay us! Turn about is only fair,
When he comes around a-huntin' and is loaded up for bear!"
"Treason! Treason!" cried the rabbits; "Treason! Treason!" shouted they;
"If he wants to come and hunt us, he must have his bloody way!
It would be the direst folly for the timid, helpless ones
To combat the deadly bullets of his thunder-spitting guns!
There's a better way to foil him,—'tis a way beyond compare,
When our Teddy's on a-huntin' trip and loaded up for bear!"
"Resolved by all the animals through all the South and West,
When Mister Roosevelt comes along we'll take a quiet rest!
We'll stay at home delightedly and all his dogs and guns
Will never find us where we dwell with wives and little ones!
Every rabbit in his burrow and each lion to his lair,
[258] When this Teddy comes a-huntin' and all loaded up for bear!"
They voted "aye" unanimous; and fast and far they hied
O'er dale and desert, wood and plain, each to his ingle-side!
They hid themselves so closely that no hunter cared to roam
Where these the timid subjects each had fashioned him a home!
They were too wise for Teddy and they still life's blessings share,
Though Teddy went a-huntin' them all loaded up for bear!

Sooner Sayings.

Blood tells when it comes to annuities and allotments.

God made the country, but it never fruited till the boomer boomed it.

The greatest heroes of the world are not those extolled in song or glorified with monuments and statues. They are the undiscovered ones who in tears and darkness lived their uttermost for the accomplishments of lofty purposes and failed utterly just before the triumph came.

Sooner Sayings.


All town-sites look alike on the map.

A claim in the run is worth two in the lottery.

One contest beats a fire, and two are worse than a ship-wreck.

A stake on a home-stead is more valuable than a palace on an Indian allotment.

As smoke to the eyes and vinegar to the teeth, so is a contest to the poor man seeking a home.

Little Sermons.

Eloquent sermons never saved a sin-sick soul.

Hate would narrow heaven to a one man's closet.

Charity is the first lesson in the school of righteousness.

The religion that feeds only the heart can never hope to save hungry souls.

If you shake hands with sin as you leave it, you will find it at the station to meet you when the train stops.


In April Days.

The budding trees
Perfume the breeze
With breath of blossomed mysteries,
And soft winds play
By grassy way
Through every laughing April day!
Suns rosy rise
Through turquoise skies,
And life looks out through tender eyes;
While cloudlets lift
Through rent and rift,
Where floating islands drive and drift.
Clear waters sing
From stream and spring,
With music in their murmuring,
And where they drip,
With thirsty sip
A lonely violet lifts its lip.
The balmy croons
Of tender tunes
Sing through the drowsy afternoons,
And faint perfumes
Of bursting blooms
Haunt all the aisles of dying glooms!
And dreams arise
Of perfect skies
[261] And all the worlds of prophets wise,
And tender hands
Whose fond commands
Lead fast and far through Love's sweet lands.
And bending low
We fondly know
The love-songs of the Long Ago,
So sweet and fair
With raptures rare,
And lips of welcome waiting there.
O, fields afar,
Whose echoes are
Soft whispers flung from sun and star,
Still faint and dim
I hear your hymn
Across the wide horizon's rim!

Little Sermons.

Drowning men were never rescued by eloquent preachers who stand on the shore and shout at them how to swim.

The church that brings shadows to this world hangs no sunshine o'er the portals of the next.

The noblest ambition of good men is to pluck the thorns from among the roses of upright living.


Without Embarassment.

(John D. Rockefeller has recently offered the Congregational Missionary Society $100,000; after much discussion, they have decided to take the money.)

It must be very trying
When the wicked millionaires
Desire to trade the pulpits
Dirty dollars for their prayers;
But I miss the shame, you see,
And am happy as can be,
For John D.
Rockyfeller he
Hain't a-throwin' any of his awful coin at me!
Of course, if some rich sinner
Should attempt to subsidize,
I certainly would see, sir,
If I dared accept the prize;
But I worry none, you see,
And my fancies all are free,
For John D.
Rockyfeller he
Hain't expressed a notion to be subsidizin' me!
But I—I have the promise,—
You may spread the joyous news—
I get whatever millions
[263] That the churches may refuse;
But I know still poor I'll be
And from dirty dollars free,
For John D.
Rockyfeller he
Will never have occasion to pass on the coin to me!

In the Dark.

It's all too lonely for speech,
Too drear for a swift remark;
I only grope till I faintly reach
Your finger-tips in the dark.
But there in the darkness near
Where the shadows clutch and cling,
Above the plash of the bitter tear,
A song and the lips that sing!

Caught on the Fly.

Poor cooks make rich undertakers.

Self confidence is the sharpest weapon in life's fierce battles.

It is our own infirmities that lead us to suspect infirmities in our fellows.

Because it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom may account for the wives of so many owning all the property.


"When Teddy Squares the Deal."

They tell us that the good old play
We call the game of life,
Is fair no more, and every day
Leads on to more of strife;
The cards are marked, the hands are stuffed,
The players bunco feel,
And graft has all the goodness bluffed
Till Teddy squares the deal!
The gamblers who have won the stakes
By shady ways of wrong
Will find of dough their biggest cakes
And sing another song;
The loaded dice so used of yore,
The marks that help the steal,
Will disappear forever more
When Teddy squares the deal.
Then honest men will have a chance
To play an even game,
And thrift and virtue swift advance
To happiness and fame;
No more will robbers ply their trade,
Nor shout the tin-horn's spiel;
The world will call a spade a spade
When Teddy squares the deal!


He'll slay the "bear", he'll rope the "bull,"
He'll make the brokers stare;
He'll fill the jails with robbers full,
And teach them to beware;
He'll fill the rich man full of pains
And millionaires shall reel,
While poor men prosper in their gains,
When Teddy squares the deal.
I think that life will be worth while
When force and fraud no more
Confederate with smirk and smile
To grab the people's store;
Get in the game! The laws will cease
To help the robbers steal,
And all the land will live in peace
When Teddy squares the deal!

A Date with Joy.

When Sorrow stops and hails you,
Your pleasures to destroy,
Just tell him, "Something ails you!
I've got a date with Joy!"
"The roads are good for travel,—
You'd better go away;
Just hit the flying gravel,
For Joy is here today!"


The Gods and the Man-Child.


The Gods of Life to the Man-Child crept
They whispered low as the Man-Child slept,—
The God of Love and the God of Hate,
And the God of the Glories Three;
And smiles and frowns wove the Man-Child's fate
In a crown that was sad to see!


"Come worship me!" said the God of Love,
"And life shall equal the realms above;
My cheeks are ruddy and white in turn,—
And my lips are as red as wine,
And Grief ne'er comes where the pleasures burn
And the joys that are slaves of mine!"


"Come worship me!" said the God of Hate;
"Revenge is sweetest of faith and fate!
[267] To conquer foes that revile and leer
With the scorn of the fiends of hell,
Is work that brings to the soul good cheer
And is worthy of doing well!"


"There is no worship like that of me!"
Cried long the God of the Glories Three;
"I have no love and I have no hate,
But the Power and Wealth and Fame;
The crowns I hold are the crowns of state
And of gold and the world's acclaim!"


The Man-Child woke from the world old dream,
And launched his boat on the tossing stream;
A God he sought that was none of these,
But a greater and sweeter far,
And question made of the rain and breeze,
And the blossom and blazing star!



He heard faint calls from the far-off days;
He saw faint steps in the lonely ways;
He caught faint glimpses by wayside path,
As he threaded the shadows dim,
And through the years with their peace and wrath
In the quest of the soul for Him!

Caught on the Fly.

Love heals the wound that truth only irritates.

The world offers no standing-room for the lazy man.

Palpitation of the tongue is the most chronic disease known to the race of women.

Sooner Sayings.

The swift horse plants the first stake.

It is well enough to be early, but too early is worse than too late.

A quarter section isn't big enough for a potato patch when two men claim it.


April 22, 1889-1905.

It is sixteen years since the race for homes,—it is sixteen years today
Since we on that April morning lined up for the mighty race;
And after the strenuous toiling and the griefs that have gone away,
The fields are glad with their beauty and the land is a dream of grace.
We raced for homes in the desert ways, and we won them fair and square;
We built so well as the swift years fled that life was a laughing thing;
And the joys that come as the crowns of life, the joys that are sweet and fair,
Build close their nests by the brooding eaves where the rose-vines climb and cling.
We knew when we entered the strange, new land there were labors of might to do;
We knew that Want with his deadly sword stood guard at the desert gate,
[270] But far to the swarded prairies and valleys that no one knew,
We spurred our steeds on the holy quest for the stars of a mighty state!
The Drouth came out of the sere south-west and the corn died low in a day;
The copper sun looked out of a sky that burned with a molten fire;
While Hope sank deep in the bravest heart, and over the barren way
The dumb feet trailed in the steps of Want and dead was the old desire.
And Famine came with her sunken eyes from the dust of the parching fields
And tapped the door with her bony hands and her fingers gaunt and thin;
Ah, Hearts grow faint at the hunger-cry and the arm of the master yields
When all the world is a heap of dust that its creatures wriggle in!


But Plenty heard of our want and woe, and gave with a lavish hand,
And Love loaned ever her cruise of oil that never of fullness fails;
The God of the rains heard all our cries and He watered the thirsty land
And sent us a patch of turnips instead of a flock of quails!
O, years of the strife and struggle! O, years of the wrath and wrong!
The hands of toil smote the sleeping fields and they woke with the blooms of light;
The homes we wrought are the homes of peace, where life is a tender song,
And the pleasures romp through the laughing days and the dreams go down the night!
Between the seas of the big, round world there never was such a land!
A land that walks in the paths of peace where the stars in their plenty shine;
And the fields are fair with the harvests there and the gifts of the toiler's hand,
[272] And the fruit hangs red in the orchard trees and the grapes on the purple vine!
It is sixteen years since we ran the race, it is sixteen mighty years,
And the days have come and gone again, with the gifts that the strong men claim;
And after the days of the struggle, the grief and toil and tears,
The wilderness smiles in its beauty 'neath the stars of a wondrous fame.

Caught on the Fly.

The younger a bride, the sooner a grass widow.

Lilies are pretty, but the old fashioned potato sticks closer to the ribs.

A magnate and his money are different propositions to the missionary societies.

Willie's Easter.

When Easter Sunday comes along
I hunt and hunt so hard,
And find a nest of rabbit eggs
Out yonder in the yard;
They're red and yellow, blue and green,
[273] All colored every way,
And when the rabbits lay their eggs
I know it's Easter day.
My Mamma cooks a lot of eggs
For little Bud and me,
And says for us to eat ourselves
As full as we can be;
And then we go to dress ourselves,
And find in every shoe,
The rabbits left a pile of eggs
As Easter rabbits do.
And Mamma tells us of the Christ
Who came to earth and died,
And was so good in all he did
He soon got crucified;
But when they took him from the Cross
And buried him away,
He came to life and rose again
And started Easter day.
And Mamma has some lilies, too,
And glad flowers of the spring,
And tells us how the world wakes up,
And tells the birds to sing:
And I like Easter mighty well,
But what is best, I say,
Is when you find the rabbit eggs
And know it's Easter day!


Little Sermons.

Faith is a great heart-cleaner.

The godly man never worries over hell-fire.

Good intentions never make the dollars ring in the collection plate.

A man's meanness and woman's frailty make a pair that prayer can't beat when they get together.

The Devil never attends the church of a scolding preacher. He knows that his presence is unnecessary.

If you want a balance in your favor on God's books, see to it that there is no balance against you on the books of men.

At the birth-hour of every soul, there overhangs a divine plan directing its plans and purposes. That plan is holy and immaculate; it has neither spot nor blemish; and as the soul walks out upon the highways of its life, dim whispers and faint intuitions try to teach the road it ought to travel to the stars. Happy the man who understands the story and walks with unerring feet the divine lanes of life and light until the shadows fall again!


The Blossom Ways.

With one true heart and a hand that stays,
This world rolls ever the blossom ways,
And there as it roams the sweet paths over,
The honey bees and the laughing clover!
And Love comes by with her lips of song,
To hush the cries and the calls of wrong,
Till life romps on to a merry measure
With dimpled hands and a heart of pleasure!

Sooner Sayings.

The swift horse makes the safe filing.

Getting in line is easy, but it's where you want to get that costs the money.

A mother-in-law may not be a popular member of the family, but your wife's folks will do to visit when the crops fail.


A Modern Love Story.

Anent the present divorce agitation, I find in an old paper the following skit which is still in point:

Chapter I.
They met in the Spring
And admired everything.
Chapter II.
In the Summer she said,
"Yes, dear, we will wed!"
Chapter III.
In the Autumn this pair
Had a spat, I declare!
Chapter IV.
In the winter, of course,
They procured a divorce!

However it may happen, there are times when the common-place soul rebels at the petty chains of trifles and seeks acquaintance with the infinite. Then it is a companion of the stars, an associate of wind and wave, and all of Nature's immeasurable forces. Happy he whose sanity is so brave and strong as to walk with the blossoms at his feet and the stars above his head.


Sooner Sayings.

Usury knows no law in a new country.

It's a poor claim that won't beat Arkansaw.

It takes more than a map and a real-estate sign to make a city.

All signs fail in dry weather,—except those of the money-lenders.

Better Hurry.

Man, you'd better hurry!
Life is mighty swift,
Fled before you know it
With the stars adrift!
Soak yourself with sunshine
All the blessed day;
Yonder come the shadows
And the night of gray!

If Love Abides.

Old Mister Trouble hides his face
And crosses o'er the slope,
When Love is laughing on the place
And links her hands with Hope.
No matter if in darkest night
Through tangled ways we grope,
If Love abides with living light
Still lip to lip with Hope!


The Rim of the Circle.


We travel the rim of the circle; the center is under the feet;
Today is the sire of tomorrow, the noon and the night never meet;
The mornings come out of the purple to die in the light of the day,
And over the dead of the ages the living are up and away!


We travel the rim of the circle! The roses are ruddy and red
Where the blossoms that burst into beauty are sleeping the sleep of the dead;
And the trees in the deeps of the forest wave scepters of laughter and light
Where the monarchs have perished forever and sheathed are the swords of their might.


We travel the rim of the circle! The peoples that struggled and wrought
Are the dust of the ways that we wander, with truths they discovered and taught;
[279] And back to the morning we hasten,—the morning when nations were new,—
For the Voice of the Master is calling, and still there is labor to do.


We travel the rim of the circle, yet wider and wider it grows,
Yet farther and farther it reaches till Love conquers all of her foes,
And Faith to the far journey beckons, and Truth with her promises sweet
Sounds the call of the masterful ages and hurries the march of the feet.


We travel the rim of the circle! Its path is a way of delight;
The morning brings ever the noon-day and conquers the shadows of night;
And whether we walk it a little, or whether we wander it far,
Still widens the rim of the circle, and yonder the sun and the star!


Playing the Game.

When Willie first began the game,
He saw but little in it,
And often wondered how he came
To let himself begin it;
But soon he learned the ball to hit
A mighty blow elastic,
And shouted at the rise of it
With yells enthusiastic.
He talked so much of hits and runs,
Of strikes and fouls and bases,
That we, the poor admiring ones,
Could hardly hold our faces;
His boasting never found an end,
His bat was always ready,
And every day he had to spend
Some hours in practice steady.
He never seemed prepared for meals,—
The game held him completely;
He kept so busy making "steals."
And running home so neatly;
And if a "home run" batted he,
We could forget it never;
His talk would all about it be
Forever and forever!
Sometimes I think that Willie's game
Is like the game life's playing:
At first we wonder how we came
[281] Around here to be staying;
And then we find the game is worth
The stakes that humans stagger,
And anxious are to win the earth
With "home run" or "three-bagger."
We practice up from day to day
To gain applause and prizes,
And fool the precious hours away
With toilsome exercises;
Yet 'tis worth while whate'er the strife,
Whatever you are doing,
To play your best the game of life
And keep the prize pursuing.

Little Sermons.

Love pardons where the law condemns.

It's a poor religion that joins the church for popularity.

Both God and the Devil know that neither of them can depend on the hypocrite.

A cup of cold water bestowed in mercy has more christian qualities than millions of dollars given for the astonishment of men.


With the May-time Blossoms.


Out with the May-time blossoms!
How sweet is the May-time song,
Far from the griefs and sorrows and all of the cries of wrong!


Out with the May-time blossoms, where the pleasures dance the light,
And Love is a laughing fairy that kisses the lilies white!


Out with the May-time blossoms, where the mocking-bird is king,
And the songs of the thrush in chorus with all of the laughters ring!


Out with the May-time blossoms!
For the lilies lead the way,
And the roses blush their greetings and Love is the Queen of May!


And the breezes whisper "Welcome" and sweet is the vale and stream!
And life with the rose and lily is only a lover's dream!



Out with the May-time blossoms!
Let youth and her fancies play,
For Love is the light of the lily and
Love is the rose's way!

Caught on the Fly.

Even a dead lie has a poisonous sting.

Social stars are not all of the first magnitude.

Grit in men and granite in stone are similar qualities.

Good opinions are valuable only as they come from good people.

Love never yet held poison to the lips or poured vitriol in a wound.

He only is truly rich who carries the sufficiencies of life within his soul.

The musician who would be praised by the ravens must learn to croak in their serenades.

Before great men can grow, the proper raw material must be provided. Pearls can't be made from putty.


My Heritage.

I am rich in the treasures of earth,
In the deeds that the fathers have done,
And for me from the moment of birth
All the gifts of the stars and the sun!
At my feet have the multitudes cast
What the ages have conquered and wrought,—
All the wonders of present and past,
All the truths that the sages have taught.
I'm the heir of the sea and the sky,
Of the storm and the sun and the star,
And the morning of time toils for me
Till I cross o'er the outermost bar.
Every truth that the teachers attained,
Every vision the dreamers have known
Every thought the philosophers gained,
Is forever and ever my own.
I'm the heir of the land and the sea!
'Twas for me that they finished their quest;
For they toiled the slow cycles for me
[285] And they wrought that my days may be blest!

Shadow and Shine.

"This world is full of trouble,
And of sorrows, too, my boy!"
But Love is here with laughter
And she dwells along with Joy!
"This life is full of grieving,
Every pleasure to destroy!"
But Love is here with gladness
And she fills the days with Joy!
"This path is full of darkness
And the gloomy ways annoy!"
But Love lights all her candles
And unveils the stars of Joy!
O, this world and all that's in it,—
Life and every tiny toy!
Love is all we crave or care for,—
Love who links her hands with Joy!

The Quest.

Over the hills that rise
Still pursue the quest,
Seeking in the shadows
For the best,—the best!
And beyond the summits gleam
All the glories of the dream!


Brighter than the Dreams.

Never mind the brooding shadows,
Nor how dark they seem!
Sweeter are the laughing meadows
Than the dreams we dream.
Never mind the waves that sever
As we sail the stream;
Lo, the harbor's brighter ever
Than the dreams we dream!
Never mind the griefs that wander
Where no stars may beam;
There's a heaven fairer yonder
Than the dreams we dream!
Never mind the Sword or Miter,—
Hard or holy theme;
Brother mine, the world is brighter
Than the dreams we dream!
Still the dream and still the dreaming,
Through the tangled scheme;
But the stars of love are gleaming
Brighter than the Dream!

Little Sermons.

The cup that runs over is the one that we neglect to empty.

Those who would lie down in green pastures must not sow too many weeds and wild oats.


Howdy, Mister Summer.

It's howdy, Mister Summah!
Ah's glad toh see yoh face;
Ah hope yuh'll lak de kentry
En visit all de place!
It's howdy, Mistah Summah!
We'll happy be, Ah knows,
Wid shiny watah-melons
Eh-crowdin' in de rows!
So howdy, Mistah Summah!
Ah's glad yuh back ehgin;
We'll ten' de craps tohgetheh,
En roll de melons in!

Little Sermons.

Fast people demand a religion trained to their own pace.

Whatever may be thought of the teachings of conventional theology and its peculiar dogmas, it is undeniable that a moral and an upright manner of living secures the highest happiness for the human family. If death is only a passage-way to eternal sleep, still a goodly life is worth the living for the little years of this world only.


Sooner Sayings.

Every man's horse is the fleetest, in the contest records.

Fortune favors the first man on the ground,—if he sets his stake and stays with it.

Statehood and "manana" are putting up a fierce contest to become exact synonyms.

A Happy Dream.

"Ah had a happy dream the otheh night, Boss; jes' de happies' one I evah had in all my life!"

"How was that, Rastus?"

"Well, suh, Ah dreamed dat Ah wuz in a field of water-melons jes' eh-eatin' widout eitheh knife or spoon, en de juice a drippin' offen my chin in a reg'lah stream!"

Still Going.

The black way and the bright way,
And still we trudge along,
With sunshine o'er each path-way
And life a summer song.
The tear-drop and the heart-ache,
And still we tread the years,
With Love enough for gladness
And Joy enough for tears!


Little Sermons.

When envy enters a man's heart, the devil never gives him any more attention.

The devil needs no mortgage on the Pharisee. He already owns him in fee simple.

When a man comes to believe he is better than his neighbors, it is high time he were hunting the mourner's bench.

At the Turning of the Lane.

Say good-bye to grief and sorrow,
Leave them in a high disdain;
All the raptures come tomorrow
At the turning of the lane!
What if over you the shadows
And the nights of cold and rain?
Yonder smile the laughing meadows
At the turning of the lane!
Still the rose and still the rapture
Woven through the tangled skein,
And the joys we still shall capture
At the turning of the lane.
All the rain-bows arch their story
Bright above the hill and plain;
If we wait, we'll see the glory
At the turning of the lane!


At the Twilight.


As sure as the red years die, dear, as sure as the red years die,
The day and the hour will come, dear, to whisper a last good-bye.
When Love shall unloose the hand-clasp and under the heaping clays
Shall hide in the shadows dark, dear, the dreams of the by-gone days!


Whatever the paths we wander, they lead to the ways that part!
One goes to the realm of shadows, one waits with a lonely heart;
And tears that we weep together shall come at the cry of prayer
And flow in a flood of grieving at pangs of the parting there.


The roses will bloom as red, dear, through all of the laughing land;
The lilies will grow as white, dear, but neither will understand;
For what is the rose and lily to hearts that murmur and moan,
With eyes that were bright all dim, dear, and one of us here alone!



Ah, one that is left shall murmur and ask of the bud and bloom,
And question the awful silence and mourn at the gates of gloom;
And call through the nights of darkness and sit at the doors of woe,
And never an answer at all, dear, from lips that it used to know!


And one at the darkened window and door of the heart's old home.
Shall wait with an unspoke welcome for one that shall never come;
And one at the gate stand watching as there in the years before,
While the latch of the gate is silent and one shall return no more!


Whichever it be that goes, dear, whichever it be that stays,
The lily and rose shall bloom, dear, through all of the lonely days;
And all that we lived so bravely and all that we loved so long
Shall dwell with the one that stays, dear, and lighten the lips with song.


Enough that the joys were many, that Love was a sun and star!
[292] Enough that we knew the raptures as tired feet wandered far!
Enough that the years were happy and sweet was the golden light
That came at the first "Good Morning" and stayed till the last "Good Night!"


What matters the tempest,
The storm and the night?
Up yonder is glowing
The rainbow of light:
And o'er the red path-ways to glory we go
The feet of our faith in their happiness know!

Success in its true sense is a personal and subjective matter, after all. Many have commanded armies and sat upon the purple thrones of the world with tear-stained cheeks and the unhappiest of hearts. Unless life has brought happiness to the one who spends it royally, failure of the most ignominious kind has been its dark achievement.


Sooner Sayings.

The gate to a cow pasture has rusty hinges.

A horse's swiftness is not determined by the saddle he sports.

The hoe and the branding-iron can't dwell as friends in the same settlement.

Quit Grieving.

Don't you go to grievin'
At the cry of grief;
If you'll try to whistle
You will find relief!
Mockin'-bird up yonder.
Robin down below,
An' the world a-singin'
All the song's they know!

A rose is only a rose after all, however sweet and beautiful it may be. And a weed is no worse than a weed, however noxious or deadly its exhalations. Neither can reach into the realm of the other or invade the world of its supremacy. Stick to the world in which you are born, and throw no bouquets at the impossible or the unattainable.


To the Dawn.

Hand in hand to the dawn, dear,
We go to the gates of day.
Where the sweet light beckons on, dear,
And the roses line the way;
And whether the clouds are heavy
Or whether the skies are blue,
A song on the lips of love, dear,
And a light in the eyes of you!
Hand in hand to the dawn, dear,
We go through the happy years,
Where the feet of the joys have gone, dear,
And the smile of the gold appears;
And whether the fates are friendly
And whether the blossoms few,
The touch of the hand is brave, dear,
And a song in the heart of you!
Hand in hand to the dawn, dear,
We travel the dusty road,
With the bruise of the battle's brawn, dear,
And the weight of the labor's load;
But whether we lose or conquer,
And whether the rose or rue,
A song on the paths we go, dear,
And a smile on the face of you!


Hand in hand to the dawn, dear
We go to the gates of day,
Where the sweet light beckons on, dear,
And the roses line the way;
And whether the clouds are heavy,
Or whether the skies are blue,
A song on the lips of love, dear,
And a light in the eyes of you!

Caught on the Fly.

A man is what he is, not what he heaps around him.

When life passes into the rocking-chair existence, it has no energies for combat.

To have one friend who believes in you is more than to be a favorite of extreme good fortune.

Little Sermons.

Untempted virtue is frequently only undeveloped vice.

When a man's religion brings a long face, he simply got fooled in the article he found.

So many people think heaven must be up yonder because they have never tried to find it here below.


You Sang to Me, Dear!


You sang to me, Dear, in the morns far away,
When the birds of the spring sang the matins of May,
And the songs that you sang to me then were as sweet
As the whispers the daisies lisped low at your feet.


You sang to me, Dear, in the noons far away,
When the fairies of joy sang the love-songs of May,
And the touch of your hand was as tender and true
As the longings of love in the dear heart of you!


You sang to me, Dear, in the nights far away,
When the dews of the dusk kissed the rose-lips of May,
And the dews of your lips were as soft as the dew,
And your eyes were as bright as the stars over you!



O, the morn and the noon and the night, when your lips
In the sweetest of raptures brought sorrow's eclipse!
They have died with the years on the deserts of men,
Yet your heart to my heart sings the love-songs again!


And the blossoms still bloom on the beautiful way
Where the dews of the dusk kiss the rose-lips of May,
And the noon and the night from the far away shore
Sing the songs that you sang, to my heart evermore!

Caught on the Fly.

A bar-room full of laughter is more attractive than a home used for rag-chewing.

If a man stops to try on every shoe that fits him, he won't get dressed in time to build the fires in the morning.

Strength to do and to endure is the rich, ripe fruit of trial and struggle, grown only in the gardens of supreme courage.


Jist a-Wushin'!

Jist a-wushin' fer the grass
Whayre the brook's a-brimmin'
An' the tow-head fellers thayre
Strippin' off fer swimmin'!
Wushin' fer to be a boy
In the laughin' lan's o' joy,
Whayre the rain-bows ring the medders with a rosy rim of joy!
Wushin' fer the fields o' green,
Cow-bells jingle, jangle,
An' the kids thayre on the swing
In the tree-tops' tangle!
Wushin' fer to be a boy
Whayre no sorrows fun destroy,
An' the rain-bows ring the medders with a rosy rim of joy!
Wushin' fer a fishin pole,
Whayre the swallers chatter,
An' the Bob-whites come an' call
Through the cat-bird's clatter!
Wushin' still to be a boy
Whayre no grown-ups bring annoy,
An' the rain-bows ring the medders with a rosy rim of joy!
Jist a-wushin'! Only that,
Fer tho perished pleasures!
[299] Jist a-wushin'! Fer the years
An' their squandered treasures!
Wushin' still to be a boy
With the wide world fer a toy,
While the rain-bows ring the medders with a rosy rim of joy!

A Happy Farmer.

What's the use to worry?
Joy is coming nigh:
Got the patches planted
For the melons bye and bye!
What's the use to worry?
Trust the rain and sky;
They will stuff the melons
Full of heaven bye and bye!

Sooner Sayings.

When the cow-path fades, the section line appears.

The testimony in a contest case is often a startling work of fiction.

The booth certificate and the lottery number are worthless to the fellow that won't hustle.


In the Lap of Spring.

Took a walk one day to hear
Mister Blue-bird sing;
Found old Winter sittin' there
In the lap of Spring!
"Mister Winter!" So I said,
"Guess you'd better hike!
Give the lady here a chance
At the rosy pike!"


Loafin' in the sunshine,
On a grassy bed,
Dreamin' of the melons
An' their hearts of red!
Loafin' in the sunshine,—
That is what I said!
Mockin'-bird a-singin',
Tree-tops overhead!
Loafin' in the sunshine!
All the cares are dead,
Thinkin' of the melons
An' their hearts of red!
Loafin' in the sunshine,—
Work an' worry fled!
Heart's a-dancin' hoe-downs
With the roses red!


No Encouragement.

"Ah tole yuh, boss, dat book whut yuh calls de Bible ain't no frien' to de cullud people," said Black Mose in a sceptical moment.

"Why, how is that Mose," said the preacher.

"Bekaze it doan't hol' no encouragement out foh de cullud sinnah! Now, ef Hebben wuz a place full ob banjoes en wohtah-millions, all de black raskels would suah come eh-runnin' to de moahneh's bench so fas' dey coulden' be bapsoused!" And the old man slouched away full of indignation at the barrenness of the heavenly promises.

Only the chemical tests of the long years can determine the true success or the utter failure,—the worth of a great deed or the nothingness of a mean act. The world's esteemed immortals have survived the shadows of oblivion only because of precious deeds they wrought for fellow men. The rags of yesterday are exchanged for purple robes as the centuries pass, while the crowns of today fade and crumble into forgetfulness. No man succeeds because he becomes a king or fails because he remains a peasant.


The Grip of the Prairies.

Up and down the world I've wandered, over land and over sea,
With the rivers rolling under and the mountains over me,
And as sure as truth is certain, you will find this saying so:
When the prairies grab a feller, they will never let him go!
For there's something in the stretches of the plains that comes and takes
All the loves and all the longings for their own exalted sakes,
And the man that gets to breathing of their glories day and night
Finds the prairies hold his heartstrings in a grip that's good and tight.
He may tread the balsam forests with their whiffs of fir and pine;
He may sail the tossing oceans and inhale their breaths of brine;
He may walk the rosy valleys, climb the mountains to the snow,
But if once the prairies grab him they will never let him go!
Ever see the sun rise proudly from the prairie's naked rim
[303] Filling up the world of wonder till it overflows the brim?
'Tis a glory that's unrivaled! 'Tis a most exalted sight,
And the prairies that present it come and grab you good and tight!
O, the grandeur of the prairies! O, the seas of grassy plain!
How they soothe with satisfaction all the hopes of heart and brain!
'Tis a truth beyond disputing, and your own heart says it's so:
When the prairies grab a feller, they will never let him go!

Caught on the Fly.

The man who has only two hands has none to spare for his neighbor's business.

Some people get up and fool around in the dark so they can grumble at the lack of sunshine.

The man who laughs in the sunshine and sleeps when the shadows fall will never suffer much with the heart-ache.


The Meadows of Morning.

The raptures grow the blossoms
Over all the fields of May,
And they bring the birds with music
Just to sing the time away;
O, brother, lift your voice
In the anthems that rejoice
While the roses rim the meadows of the morning!
The glad hearts send the gladness
Over all the fields we go,
And the glory of the sunshine
Brightens all the world we know;
O, brothers, come along!
Let us sing the rain-bow song
While the roses rim the meadows of the morning!
The good Lord gives his bounties
To his children through the years,
And his gifts of love and labor
Conquer all the griefs and tears;
O, brother, bye and bye
We shall reach the home on high
While the roses rim the meadows of the morning!


Fields of May.

Here's a road that's never long,
Where it leads away
Through the blossom and the song
To the fields of May!
There the rain-bow bends above
Bags of gold, they say;
And there's laughter, light and love
In the fields of May!
Here's the road that's never long!
Come and let's away,
Through the blossom and the song
To the fields of May!

With all the strife and struggle after riches, the greatest joys of life are forever more the gifts of nature, within the reach of rich and poor alike, and beyond the measurings of gold. The clear sky and the green grass, the sunshine of the noon, and the dew of the morning, the blossom and the bird-song, good health and sound sleep, and the love of a man for a woman and of a woman for a man,—these have no prices in the catalogues of wealth and poverty alike.


The Journey.

This life, my dear, is a varied journey
And most of its ways are queer,
But those who laugh through its work and wonder
Will find that it holds good cheer;
And whether we laugh or languish
And whether we sigh or sing,
I am sure that still
There is good for ill
And the flash of an angel wing!
The world, my dear, and the folk that use it
Care naught for our waste or worth;
The smile and sorrow of hope and hurry
Are small to the brave old earth;
And whether with pain or pleasure
And whether with smiles or tears,
There is something glad
For the dark and sad,
And we go to the blessed years.
The deeds, my dear, that we faint in doing,
The dreams that we catch and cherish,
To those that walk in the ways beside us
Are naught when they fall and perish;
[307] But whether they fail or triumph
And whether the rue or rose,
To the hearts that hold
They are more than gold
Till the years of the gods unclose.
It's up, my dear, with the purple morning,
And death to the heart's annoy;
No stop nor stay on the endless journey
To rest on the hills of joy!
And whether the paths are easy
And whether the roads are long,
There is rapture still
For the ache and ill,
As we wander the ways with song!
Yes, life, my dear, is a varied journey
And most of its ways are queer,
But those who laugh as they wander onward
Will find that it holds good cheer;
And whether we laugh or languish
And whether we sigh or sing,
I am sure that still
There is good for ill
And the flash of an angel wing!


"When the Sad Time Ends."

What's the use to beckon trouble
As you journey down the road?
Life will find its burdens double
If it cherishes the load!
Keep a smile and be contented
With the favors fortune sends,
And the joys will romp around you
Till the sad time ends.
What's the use to keep complaining
At the gifts the good days bring?
For each tear that flows from heart-ache
There's a hundred laughs that sing;
For the day that's dark and gloomy,
God a hundred bright days lends,
And his sunshine will be ceaseless
When the sad time ends.
What's the use to go to growling
When the comrades that you knew
Turn their backs on all your kindness
And unsheathe their knives for you?
For the scamp that proves a traitor,
You will find a hundred friends,
And their golden hearts ne'er waver
Till the sad time ends.


What's the use to welcome trouble?
Chase it from the paths you go!
There is always plenty of it
If you cherish every woe.
Keep your life alight with gladness
Till a song each day attends;
You will reach the land of sunshine
When the sad time ends.

Sooner Sayings.

The land office is the grave-yard of many a happy home.

In driving a settlement stake, one man is company and two's a crowd.

The ox-team makes a swift run when its owner understands how to drive them at the land-office window.

Snake Bit.

"Did you have any accidents on the fishing trip?"

"No; none to speak of?"

"Any one snake bit?"

"Yes, but that's nothing. Bill Jones got snake-bit every time his clothes rubbed him, and hollered for whiskey; and in order to save any, we had to undress Bill and put him under guard for the general welfare."


The Books.


Close the book and put it by!
What it held of song and sigh,
What it held of smile and tear
Laughs and sorrows through the year!
Pages dark and pages fair
Each to each are wedded there,
And no sage e'er understood
What was evil, what was good!


Close the life and put it by!
It was made of song and sigh,
It was made of smiles and tears
And the struggles of the years!
Days of dark and days of fair
Closely came and blended there,
And but He who judges could
Know the evil and the good!

Every day and hour from which Love witholds her smiles and hides her happy face is a desert path in the rose-fields of this life. Only he who welcomes the laughing goddess to his heart and holds her dear hands close with an abiding faith, receives that holy happiness discerning souls call a success worth having.


Move Along.

Move along, brother!
The way may be long,
But yonder's the sunshine
And here is the song.
Move along, brother!
The rain-bow is red;
The clouds with the shadows
And darkness have fled.
Move along, brother!
The turn of the lane!
Here's laughing for weeping
And pleasure for pain!

The Sage.

Removed from pygmy ways afar,
He feels the heft of sun and star,—
He traces winding paths that go
Beyond the ways that dullards know,
And sails swift thoughts across the seas
Of God's unsailed immensities.
His vision sees the First and Last
To present smallness welded fast,
And he beholds with prophet eye
The brotherhood of earth and sky,
And, when Time's voyage wild is o'er
The lights upon the farther shore!


Still Onward.

What if the paths be dark and shadowed still
The summit roads and hope hides in eclipse!
Beyond the tangled ways that murmur ill
The touch of tender lips!
Forth on the dark ways though still darker grow
The paths before the groping finger-tips!
Beyond the shadow years our visions know
The touch of tender lips!


A sigh and a song,
And a song and a sigh;
But the song helps along
To the sky bye and bye!

Transcriber's note

The following changes have been made to the text:

In the Table of Contents:


Page number for A Valentine changed from 307 to 207.

Page number for Life changed from 158 to 168.

Page number for Mistah Cotton changed from 149 to 105.

Page number for Off the Reservation changed from 225 to 224.

"Our Joe's Home Again" changed to "Our Joe's Home Agin".

"Governor Tom" changed to "Said Governor Tom" and moved to appropriate place in the list.

"See the Side Show" changed to "See the Side-Show" and page number changed from 4 to 102.

Page number for The Legislative Pass changed from 187 to 186 and moved to the appropriate place in the list.

Page number for The Little Boy Land changed from 67 to 66.

The Rim of the Circle was moved to the appropriate place in the list.

"The Valley of Rest" changed to "The Valleys of Rest".

Page number for Without Embarassment changed from 269 to 262.


Page number for Caught on the Fly changed from 282 to 283.

"Mighty Troublesome" changed to "Mighty Lonesome".

Page number for Wanted to Hide changed from 151 to 121.

Page 16: "dosen't lay" changed to "doesn't lay".

Page 16: "hair is the middle" changed to "hair in the middle".

Page 31: "the the care-clouded" changed to "the care-clouded".

Page 34: Added "I" to the first stanza.

Page 39: "Pie-millon" changed to "Pie-million".

Page 59: "roas'in' ears" changed to "roas'in'-ears".

Page 62: "And they they chew" changed to "And they chew".

Page 74: "whereever I roam" changed to "wherever I roam".

Page 76: "new-fangeled" changed to "new-fangled".

Page 78: "it shadows of woe" changed to "its shadows of woe".

Page 80: "Wid de jedgment" changed to "Wid de judgment".

Page 82: "Lumkinsville" changed to "Lumpkinsville".

Page 85: "all the vitrues" changed to "all the virtues".

Page 102: "harvesings of blame" changed to "harvestings of blame".

Page 104: "other fellow out" changed to "other fellow ought".

Page 106: "These is sunshine" changed to "There is sunshine".

Page 111: "food he easts" changed to "food he eats".

Page 158: "Good Bye" changed to "Good-bye".

Page 179: "Caugh on the Fly" changed to "Caught on the Fly".

Page 195: "battallions" changed to "battalions".

Page 217: "They ve passed through" changed to "They've passed through".

Page 227: "Trou le" changed to "Trouble".

Page 237: "when the birds!" changed to "when the birds come back!".

Page 240: "molasses and sulpur" changed to "molasses and sulphur".

Page 241: "Say Good bye" changed to "Say Good-bye".

Page 249: "Fools Day" changed to "Fool's Day" to match Table of Contents.

Page 253: "song and prophsy" changed to "song and prophesy".

Page 265: "millionairs shall reel" changed to "millionaires shall reel".

Page 266: "The whispered" changed to "They whispered".

Page 282: "May time" changed to "May-time".

Page 283: "vitrol" changed to "vitriol".

Page 284: "sun and the star" changed to "the sun and the star".

Page 293: "bouqets" changed to "bouquets".

Page 309: "Snake Bite" changed to "Snake Bit".




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