Thursday, August 02, 2007

House by the Side of the Road

A few weeks ago, I got an e-mail from a lady who was a long-time friend of my Kellogg grandparents (my mother's folks). She said she had a framed poem that had once belonged to my grandfather and wondered if I'd be interested in having it. Would I? But of course! I e-mailed her immediately and said please, send it along.

When I arrived home from my trip to Michigan last week, there in my mailbox was a small package from this lady that contained a precious poem that had been a gift to my grandfather from two of his daughters (my aunts) on Father's Day 1940. It cost them all of $1.25 (the price is penciled on the back, along with the information, written in his hand), but no doubt it was a great treasure to him, as the poem is one that I know he loved dearly.

I know he loved it because he had another framed work of art (needlepoint this time) containing the last two lines of the poem that I remember seeing often. This particular picture I don't recall having seen, but I'm sure it hung in a favored place for many years. Now, it hangs opposite my front door so all who enter can see it. The poem is an old one, but one that describes my Godly people-loving grandfather to a "T." It reads,

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls like stars,that dwell apart
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by--
The men who are good, and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as i;
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Or hurl the cynic's ban;--
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
~Sam Walter Foss

1 comment:

Patty said...

what a treasure ! I love that poem