Comments Welcome

Please leave a comment! I'm interested in knowing who my readers are and which poems are most meaningful to you! Thank you!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Eagle

The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands,
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

~ Alfred Lord Tennyson

from my mother's poetry notebook

Sunday, July 31, 2016


John Burroughs Speaks of Contentment

I have loved the feel of the grass under my feet, and the sound of the running streams by my side.  The hum of the wind in the tree-tops has always been good music to me, and the face of the fields has often comforted me more than the faces of men.

I am in love with this world, by my constitution I have nestled lovingly in it.  It has been home.  It has been my point of outlook into the universe.  I have not bruised myself against it, nor tried to use it ignobly.

I have tilled its soil, I have gathered its harvest, I have waited upon its seasons, and always have reaped what I have sown.

While I delved I did not lose sight of the sky overhead.  While I gathered its bread and meat for my body, I did not neglect to gather its bread and meat for my soul.

I have climbed its mountains, roamed its forests, sailed its waters, crossed its deserts, felt the sting of its frosts, the oppression of its heats, the drench of its rains, the fury of its winds, and always have beauty and joy waited upon my goings and comings.

From my mother's poetry notebook

April Music

April Music

Thy lyric sound of laughter
Fills all the April hills.
The joy song of the crocus,
Thy mirth of daffodils --

They ring their golden changes
Through all the azure vales;
The sunny cowslips answer
Athwart the reedy swales.

Far down the woodland aisleways
The trillium's voice is heard;
The little wavering windflowers
Join in with jocund word.

The white cry of the dogwood
Mounts up against the sky;
The breath of violet music
Upon the breeze goes by.

Give me to hear, O April,
These choristers of thine
Calling across the distance
Serene and hyaline,

To clear my clouded vision,
Bedimmed and dulled so long,
And heal my aching spirit
With fragrance that is song!

-- Clinton Scollard

From my mother's poetry notebook

Thursday, July 14, 2016

God Passed Along Our Countryside

God Passed Along Our Countryside

God passed along our countryside
Last night with quiet tread,
So silently He came and passed
No sleeper turned his head.
And not till dawn His children knew
The pageant of surprise
That all about, on hill and glen,
Lay there like Paradise.

God passed along our countryside
That is as fair and old,
And clothed the poplar and the oak
With crimson and with gold.
He smiled upon the shrinking bush,
The sapling so forlorn,
And gave them robes of purple hue
To match the flaming morn.

God passed along our countryside,
And now His children know
There's greater good for those in store
Who love Him here below.
For every day, like autumn, comes
With blessings new and old.
And helps me think of that fair clime,
Whose gates are pearl and gold.

~ Calvin Lauper

From my mother's poetry notebook

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager

I saw him in a mountain gorge
And held my breath with wonder.
So startlingly beautiful
He was, the roaring thunder
Of water falling from the heights,
The pine bough's windy turning
Was but a background for a bird
Whose vivid scarlet burning
Caught my eyes and dazzled them.
A quivering aspen springing
From the wet rocks bore a flame
Like a lantern swinging.
His iridescent tail and wings,
Each black metallic feather
Glittered in the gorgeous light
Of the mountain weather.
Cold green water, silver spray,
An aspen, frail and slender
Against the high dark wall of pines,
A small bird's blazing splendor --
That brilliant picture struck me blind
And burned its beauty on my mind.

~ Grace Noll Crowell

From my mother's poetry notebook

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Winter Scene

The Winter Scene by Bliss Carman

The rutted roads are all like iron; the skies
Are keen and brilliant; only the oak leaves cling
In the bare woods, or hardy bitter-sweet;
Drivers have put their sheepskin jackets on;
And all the ponds are sealed with sheated ice
That rings with stroke of skate and hockey-stick,
Or in the twilight cracks with running whoop.
Bring in the logs of oak and hickory,
And make an ample blaze on the wide hearth.
Now is the time, with winter o'er the world,
For books and friends and yellow candle-light,
And timeless lingering by the settling fire,
While all the shuddering stars are keen and cold.

Out of the silent portal of the hours,
When frosts are come and all the hosts put on
Their burnished gear to march across the night
And o'er a darkened earth in splendor shine,
Slowly above the world Orion wheels
His glittering square, while on the shadowy hill
And throbbing like a sea-light through the dusk,
Great Sirius rises in his flashing blue.
Lord of the winter night, august and pure,
Returning year on year untouched by time,
To kindle faith with thy immortal fire;
There are no hurts that beauty cannot ease,
No ills that love cannot at last repair,
In the courageous progress of the soul.

Russet and white and gray is the oak wood.
In the great snow.  Still from the North it comes,
Whispering, settling, sifting through the trees,
O'er-loading branch and twig.  The road is lost.
Clearing and meadow, stream and ice-bound pond
Are made once more a trackless wilderness
In the white hush where not a creature stirs;
And the pale sun is blotted from the sky.
In the strange twilight the lone traveler halts
To listen while the stealthy snowflakes fall.
And then far off toward the Stamford shore,
Where through the storm the coast-wise liners go,
Faint and recurrent on the muddled air,
A foghorn booming through the Smother, -- hark!

When the day changed and the mad wind died down,
The powdery drifts that all day long had blown
Across the meadows and the open fields,
Or whirled like diamond dust in the bright sun,
Settled to rest, and for a tranquil hour
The lengthening bluish shadows on the snow
Stole down the orchard slope, and a rose light
Flooded the earth with glory and with peace,
Then in the west behind the cedars black
The sinking sun made red the winter dusk.

(Mom's copy of this poem ends here, but I found the rest on-line, here.
The last 4 lines are below along with a few notes for specified lines:)

52With sullen flare upon the snowy ridge,--
            53As in a masterpiece by Hokusai,
            54Where on a background gray, with flaming breath
            55A scarlet dragon dies in dusky gold.
18] Orion: constellation in Taurus named after a hunter with belt and sword.
21] Sirius: star in constellation Canis Major.
38] Stamford: town in Connecticut.
41] the Smother: thick cloud of snow, fog, spray, etc.
53] Hokusai: Katsushika, Japanese artist (1760-1849).

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may

E. E. Cummings, 1894 - 1962


maggie and milly and molly and may 
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang 
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing 
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone 
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me) 
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea


Copyright © 1956, 1984, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust 
from The Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings,
Edited by George J. Firmage.
Reprinted by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.
All rights reserved.

A Parting Guest

A Parting Guest

 What delightful hosts are they -- 
 Life and Love! 
Lingeringly I turn away, 
 This late hour, yet glad enough 
They have not withheld from me 
 Their high hospitality.
So, with face lit with delight 
 And all gratitude, I stay 
 Yet to press their hands and say, 
 -- So fine a time! Good night.

by James Whitcomb Riley
found on

Saturday, May 21, 2016



With downcast eyes go to work today,
Or you'll see the trees in their spring array.
Turn your cheek away from the teasing sun,
Think of yesterday's work you left undone;
Ignore the wind's whisper of distant miles,
Answer the call of your desk and files;
You sought a career -- now forget you're alive,
And enjoy your cage from eight to five.

~ Nancy Gibbons

From my mother's poetry notebook

I Saw God Wash The World

I Saw God Wash The World

I saw God wash the world last night
With His sweet showers on high;
And then when morning came
I saw Him hang it out to dry.
He washed each tiny blade of grass
And every trembling tree;
He flung His showers against the hills
And swept the billowy sea.
The white rose is a cleaner white;
The red rose is more red
Since God washed every fragrant face
And put them all to bed.
There's not a bird, there's not a bee
That wings along the way,
But is a cleaner bird or bee
Than it was yesterday.
I saw God wash the world last night;
Ah, would He had washed me
As clean of all my dust and dirt
As that old white birch tree!

~ Wm. L. Stidger

From my mother's poetry notebook

Song For Walking

Song For Walking

Often in sun or in starlight,
Often in fair or foul weather,
It is good, it is good to go choose a friend
And walk out a mile together.

Sometimes, in a stray little hour
When you've no desire for talking --
O, then it is good to discover a path
And take only yourself out walking.

And whether you follow a street,
Or a flagstone path or the sod,
It is good, I know, I know it is good
To go walking sometimes with God!

~ Elaine V. Emans

From my mother's poetry notebook

Wonder Of A Tree

Wonder Of A Tree

I never pause to look upon a tree
Without partaking of its mood
That reaching calmly forth, envelopes me
Within a tent of quietude.

A weathered oak or elm, a singing pine
That God has breathed on, lifts my heart
Until its mood has permeated mine
With something only trees impart:

A rugged sweep of strength and beauty won
From storms that I could never breast,
A stillness drawn from mist and rain and sun,
From sheltering a robin's nest;

The wonder of a tree against the sky
Whose mood is felt but never known,
Inalienable loveliness that I
Would gather close and make my own.

~ Marie Barton

From my mother's poetry notebook

He Who Loves The Winter

He Who Loves The Winter

He who loves the winter understands
The blue-white peace of forestlands.

He who walks a swamp-trail, soft with snow
Shall learn a secret which few men know.

He who climbs the contour of a hill
Shall commune with Time if his heart stands still.

He who hears the whir of partridge wings
Shall remember forever a number of things.

He who finds a willow, glowing red,
Shall flame with faith which quickens the dead.

He who loves the winter sufficiently
Shall tower toward heaven like a tall pine tree.

~ Harry Elmore Hurd

From my mother's poetry notebook

Trees In A Storm

Trees In A Storm

O, what must the tall trees
     Think of me for going
Off to find a sheltering place
     When a storm is blowing?

How must all the brave trees
     Wonder at my fright
When the tempest hurls a swift
     Jagged fork of light!

And must not the strong trees
     Laugh at me, perhaps,
In their beautiful delight
     Of the thunder-claps?

Tall and brave and strong trees,
     With your guidance, I
Soon shall meet a storm with arms
     Flung, laughing, to the sky!

~ Elaine V. Emans

From my mother's poetry notebook

The Spearhead Of The Spring

The Spearhead Of The Spring

In all this winter-weary world
     What lifts the heart so high
As the sound of wild geese flying north
     Against a starlit sky?

A warm south wind -- a cloudless night --
     And suddenly far and near,
The beat of wings for Canada
     Across a hemisphere!

Brave as a shower of bugle notes
     You hear their questing call --
And the leader's answer, bold and deep,
     Ringing over all!

Northward swinging through the night,
     Flying wing to wing,
A thousand miles they launch their flight --
     The Spearhead of the Spring!

~ Douglas Cary Wendell

From my mother's poetry notebook

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Faith Is A Living Power

Faith Is A Living Power

Faith is a living power from heaven
Which grasps the promise God has given;
Securely fixed on Christ, alone,
A trust that cannot be overthrown.

Faith finds in Christ whatever we need
To save and strengthen, guide and feed;
Strong in his grace its joys to share
His cross, in hope his crown to wear.

Faith to the conscience whispers peace;
And bids the mourner's sighing cease;
By faith the children's right we claim
And call upon our Father's name.

Such faith in us, O God, implant,
And to our prayers thy favor grant
In Jesus Christ, thy saving Son,
Who is our font of health alone.

Author Unknown

From My Mother's Poetry Notebook

The Beatitude

The Beatitude

Blessed are the clean in motive,
for they shall find the God of Light.
Blessed are the transparent in thought,
for they shall behold the God of Truth.
Blessed are the unspotted in imagination,
for they shall discern the God of Beauty.
Blessed are the unstained in affection,
for they shall know the God of Love.
Blessed are the blameless in conscience,
for they shall be at home with the God Peace.
Blessed are the holy in word and deed,
for they shall be united with God of Strength.
Blessed are the unblemished in desire,
for they shall rejoice with the God of Hope.

Author Unknown

From My Mother's Poetry Notebook



This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream: --
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields.  A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes,
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, "Had I a sword of keener steel --
That blue blade that the king's son bears, -- but this
Blunty thing --!" he snapt and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

~ Edward Rowland Sill

From My Mother's Poetry Notebook



Faith is not merely praying
     Upon your knees at night;
Faith is not merely straying
     Through darkness to the light.

Faith is not merely waiting
     For glory that may be,
Faith is not merely hating
     The sinful ecstasy.

Faith is the brave endeavor
     The splendid enterprise,
The strength to serve, whatever
     Conditions may arise.

~ S. E. Kiser

The Joy Of Living

The Joy of Living

The south wind is driving
His splendid cloud-horses
Through vast fields of blue.
The bare woods are singing,
The brooks in their courses
Are bubbling and springing
And dancing and leaping,
The violets peeping.
I'm glad to be living;
Aren't you?

~ Gamaliel Bradford

From My Mother's Poetry Notebook

Stir Us

"Stir us, oh stir us, Lord we care not how,
But stir our hearts in passion for the world;
Stir us to give, to go, but most to pray;
Stir till the blood-red banner be unfurled
O'er lands that still in heathen darkness lie,
O'er deserts where no Cross is lifted high."

Unknown Author

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Inner Peace

It is the will of God for us that in the world's most crowded street, in the din of life, when the rush and hurry are at their most intense; joy or sorrow, in love or in bereavement, in all that makes up our outer and inner life, we should have a place of retirement, a permanent retreat, ever at hand for renewal and peace.  It is God's will for us that we should possess an Interior Castle, against which the storms of life may beat without being able to disturb the serene quiet within; as a spiritual life so firm and so serene that nothing can overthrow it.
~ F. Underhill

From My Mother's Poetry Notebook


By Kenneth Robinson

I wanted to do great deeds of fame,
Something of worth for God;
I scorned the service that often coes
By walking where servants trod.

I craved the place where the highest sit,
I wanted to do and dare;
But the job that needed the grace and grit
Was ignored with the utmost care.

One day I sought the face of the Lord
For the plan He had for me;
And I earnestly searched His precious Word
To know what His will could be.

I opened my heart to hear His voice,
And He searched me through and through
And He showed me that my selfish choice
Was neither wise nor true.

So I yielded all, and I really died
To my selfish heart's desire;
And the carnal man was crucified
In a Pentecostal fire.

Ah, now I cry, "Lord, let me be
But a cog in Life's great wheel;
Only let me work that the world may see
The light of the Spirit's seal."

I do not ask for the highest way,
I'll walk where the servants trod;
I only ask that my path each day
Shall lead me close to God.

From My Mother's Poetry Notebook

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Secret

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: The Secret
The Secret
I met God in the morning,
When my Day was at its best,
And His presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.
All day long the Presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O’er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered.
Other ships were sore distressed;
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.
Then I thought other mornings
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I, too, had loosed the moorings
With the Presence left behind.
So I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way;
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day.
~ Dr. Ralph S. Cushman

The Love Chapter

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: The Love Chapter -- I Cor. 13
The Love Chapter -- I Cor. 13
If I could like an angel preach
And with all wisdom others teach;
Yet, if God’s love were not in me,
All this as sounding brass would be.
The love of God, naught takes its place --
No gifts, nor works; not even faith.
The love of God is patient, kind;
It envies not, no fault doth find.
This love divine, seeks not its own,
Will bear all things when self is gone
And love divine behave aright --
No evil thinks, and shows no pride;
Cannot rejoice in what is wrong;
But in the truth -- even though alone.
Yea! love divine will all endure;
Hopes and believes what’s best and pure.
And love divine shall yet increase
When prophecy and tongues shall cease.
We know and speak in part while here --
It will be so till He appear.
Like thro’ a glass we see things here
Then face to face -- there He is near --
And now abides Faith, Hope, and Love --
But greatest of them all is Love.
~ Maurice Boursen --

Birth Night

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Birth Night
Birth Night
Here is where stars are falling softly,
continually, and the snow is white,
white as the white of doves’ wings; here
where snow crystals sparkle in the
blue moonlight, and here where things are
pure and sweet, there is peace.
--Here is God, and here moreover is
Christ, that beautiful Christ who was
born on this night, and to whom all
choirs are singing, and for whom
all chimes are pealing, and because
of whom there is tonight joy o’er all
the countryside.  
-- forgotten for a time individual
destinies, for we are one, we frail human
beings, this night, as we rejoice and
feel once more this great beauty which
God has given us; and it is far too
much beauty to hold at once.
-- God was so kind, O Christ-Child
to give us Thee, so infinitely kind --
to be our loving Saviour, to teach us
to walk in love and to know that some
day this great peace we feel tonight
may be ours forever and for all time.
~ Author Unknown

Gloria In Excelsis

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Gloria in Excelsis
The glory-song of the ages lifts and rings
Where an organ rolls its thunder to the sky,
And a great cathedral choir stands and sings:
“Gloria in Excelsis.” Like a cry
Of victory it sounds across the earth
To herald out the little Christ Child’s birth.
The carolers down many a darkened street
Raise glad triumphant voices to the stars.
Climbing the windless air the song is sweet
And heaven itself has lowered its jeweled bars
That words once showered on a field’s white sod
May take their straight way to the throne of God.
“Gloria in Excelsis,” far and clear
From upflung throats of bells there comes the shout,
And through the night for listening hearts to hear,
The silver singing of great chimes ring out.
O sing it, shout it, and may nothing dim
The Christmas music mankind lifts for Him.
~ Grace Noll Crowell

Lessons From Nature

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Lessons from nature
From the prisons of anxious tho’ts that greed has builded,
From the fetters that envy has wrought, and pride had gilded,
From the noise of the crowded ways and the fierce confusion,
From the folly that wastes its days in the world of illusion,
(Ah, but the life is lost that frets and languishes there!)
I would escape to be free in the joy of the open air.

By the faith that the flowers show when they bloom unbidden,
By the calm of the river’s flow to a goal that is hidden,
By the trust of the tree that clings to its deep foundation,
By the courage of wild birds’ wings on the longing migration,
(Wonderful secret of peace that abides in nature’s breast!)
Teach me how to confide, and live my life, and rest.
~ H. Van Dyke (untitled)


From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Habits
What habits build my character better, braver, stronger?
What habits make my health secure; make life finer, longer?
What habits keep my mind alert and farther seeing?
What habits help me in my work, my highest talents freeing?
What habits make me sweet and strong to aid a friend in sorrow?
Help someone stand against the wrong? Find new hope for the morrow?
What habits spread Christ’s praise abroad?
Help me ever near to God?
Author Unknown

God In The Marsh

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: God in the Marsh
As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sand,
Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of God;
I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen flies,
In the freedom that fills all the space ‘twixt the marsh and the skies;
By so many roots as the marsh-grass send in the sand,
I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God.
~ S. Lanier (?) [untitled]

Peace, Be Still

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Peace, Be Still
I found a spot of beauty rare,
Both God and nature lingered there;
And in the quiet of the hill
I hear God whisper, “Peace, be still.”
In the deep arch of blue above
I read of His unbounded love
While in the murmur of the breeze,
The gentle rustling of the trees,
I heard His voice speak low and sweet:
“Fear not, my child, go forth and meet
Life squarely, for it is My will,
Receive My blessing: Peace, be still.”
~ M. Elizabeth Coulson (?) [untitled]


From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Release
Peace I have found in the soft-wind’s singing
And a glad new rest for my heart;
Gladness and joy in the gay bird’s winging
Into the west, peace impart;
Into my heart comes a silent lifting
Of a prayer to the skies above --
Here, in the quiet of the dew-wet evening,
I shall throw all my cares away;
Sorting them over, I shall go singing,
Leaving them here by the way.
~ Margaret Schaeffer Connelly

Jesus For Me

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Jesus For Me
Jesus For Me
In the beginning of my day, with its care and its problems,
Jesus shall be my Counselor and my Help.
In the beginning of my temptation,
Jesus shall be my Defense.
In the beginning of discouragement,
Jesus shall be my Strength.
In the beginning of every joy,
Jesus shall receive my praise.
In the beginning of all my plans and hopes,
Jesus shall be my supreme Guide.
~ Author Unknown

Psalm Of The Teacher

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: A Psalm of the Teacher
A Psalm of The Teacher
The Lord is my teacher.
I shall not lose the way to wisdom.
He leadeth me in the lovely paths of learning,
He prepareth a lesson for me every day;
He findeth the clear fountains of instruction,
Little by little He showeth me the beauty of truth.
The world is a great book that He hath written,
He turneth the leaves for me slowly;
They are inscribed with images and letters,
His face poureth light on the pictures and the words.
Then am I glad when I perceive His meaning.
He taketh me by the hand to the hilltop of vision;
In the valley also He walketh beside me,
And in the dark places He whispereth to my heart.
Yes, though my lesson be hard it is not hopeless,
For the Lord is very patient with his slow scholar;
He will wait awhile for my weakness,
He will help me to read the truth through my tears.
Surely Thou wilt enlighten me daily by joy and sorrow;
And lead me at last, O God, to the perfect knowledge of Thee.
~ Henry Van Dyke

Prayer For When I Am Weary

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Prayer for when I am weary
Lord, when I am weary with toiling,
And burdensome seem Thy commands,
If my load should lead to complaining,
Lord, show me Thy hands,
Thy nail-pierced hands, Thy cross-torn hands,
My Savior, show me Thy hands.
Christ, if ever my footsteps should falter,
And if I be prepared for retreat,
If desert or thorn cause lamenting,
Lord, show me Thy feet,
Thy bleeding feet, Thy nail-scarred feet,
My Jesus show me Thy feet.
O God, dare I show Thee --
My hands and my feet!
Author Unknown

Holy Spirit's Breath

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Holy Spirit’s Breath
Breathe ore me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.
~ Edwin Hatch

Draw Thou my soul, O Christ, closer to Thine;
Breathe into every wish Thy will divine!
Raise my low self above, won by Thy deathless love;
Ever, O Christ, through mine let Thy life shine.
Not for myself alone may my prayer be;
List Thou Thy world, O Crist, closer to Thee!
Cleanse it from guilt and wrong; teach is salvation’s song,
Till earth, as heaven, fulfill God’s holy will.
~ Lucy Larcom

Building Of The Ship

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Longfellow’s Building Of The Ship
From “The Building of the Ship”
“Like unto ships far off at sea,
Outward or homeward bound are we.
Before, behind, and all around,
Floats and swings the horizon’s hound,
Seems at its distant rim to rise
And climb the crystal wall of skies,
And then again to turn and sink,
As if we could slide from its outer brink.
Ah! it is not the sea;
It is not the sea that sinks and shelves,
But ourselves
That rock and rise
With endless and uneasy motion,
Now touching the very skies,
Now sinking into the depths of the ocean.
Ah! if our souls but poise and swing
Like the compass in its brazen ring,
Ever level and ever true
To the toil and task we have to do,
We shall sail securely, and safely reach
The Fortune Isles, on whose shining beach
The sights we see and the sounds we hear,
Will be those of joy and not of fear!”

I remember Mom loved Longfellow’s poetry. Especially his “The Song of Hiawatha.”

New Year's Day

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Oxenham’s New Year’s Day
Each man is captain of his soul,
And chooses his own crew;
But the Pilot knows the unknown seas,
And he will bring us through.
~ John Oxenham
Mom typed out only the above verse, but I thought I had heard this before so I looked it up. Oxenham wrote a longer poem which can be found here:
But it also reminded me of another poet’s exploration/interpretation of a similar theme. William Ernest Henley wrote “Invictus” which uses similar imagery but really gives a message rather opposite to Oxenham’s. Text and background info can be found here:
I remember one of Mom’s brother’s reciting both these poems. I wonder if she shared with him or him with her, or if Grandma or Grandpa Troyer enjoyed poetry and this was a family favorite? I think it’s most likely Mom shared with Uncle Omar.

Praying Friends

From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Praying Friends
I want my friends to pray for me,
While traveling o’er life’s rugged way,
That I may true and faithful be,
And live for Jesus every day.
I want my friends to pray for me,
To bear my tempted soul above,
And intercede with God for me;
I need the prayers of those I love.
Author Unknown


From My Mother’s Poetry Notebook: Service
You cannot serve the Master
With stress on I and me --
Self-centered service never finds
Thy Father close to thee.
But when you lose yourself in love
He’ll love the world through thee.
Untitled, Author Unknown