I am only a dreamer trying to catch
A sunbeam that hides from me;
I am only a weaver trying to match
Threads that don’t want to be.
But it’s all in the way
I start at each day
That means whether I’m glad or blue,
Somehow the mending is all depending
On nobody else but you.
I am dreaming, I am scheming,
I am planning every day,
Trying to make skies of blue
Out of clouds of grey.
Someday all the clouds will hide
‘Neath the sunbeams stretching wide;
Then my scheming, then my dreaming,
Will come true for you.
I am only a schemer trying to make
A pathway of gold for you,
I am only a gleaner trying to take
Roads that are always blue.
I am scheming each day
To find a new way
To brighten the roadway of love,
From a dusky dawn till the clouds are gone,
And the blue sky smiles above.
I am only another plodding along
And trying to make ends meet,
I am only another one of the throng
Tasting life’s bitter-sweet.
But so long as I know
Wherever I go,
Somebody is waiting for me,
The sunbeams I’ll catch, the threads I will match,
Till they’re as you want them to be.
– Circa 1930
Who knows the inner workings of a mind
That may commit an ‘act’, a crime to you;
Why all this fuss of striving hard to find
A jury to convict? Why this to do?
Try him if need you must by equal men,
Men who have borne the burdens he has borne;
How dare you say this man is guilty, when
You cannot see his life, his soul unshorn?
Poor, hungry, cold, try him not by a man
Wallowing in wealth he has not worked to win.
Play squarely; then, convict him if you can,
Else on you falls that man’s begetting sin.
Judge rightly, that you be not judged; I say
Your judgment will fall back on you, some day.
– Circa 1929
I love the hills that crown the shadowed glade
They turn to royal purple at the touch
Those hills that lift their sunny crags
Toward the azure dome-,
The barren cliffs-, the rocky hills-,
The sea gulls salty home.
I love the hills where columbines and dusky blue bells hide-,
Those hills from which the ocean sends its white caps circling wide.
I love the hills that overlook the vale
They guard the daisies in the fields that stretch
Those lofty hills that lift their peaks
On March’s windy day-,
Great rolling hills that Springtime crowns with green and softest bloom-
They scatter o’er each valley path the scent of sweet perfume.
I love the hills where roses twine each day
They gently catch and echo back each song,
Those flaming hills of Autumn time
That change to sombre brown-,
Or hills that dare our dancing feet
With Winter’s snow white down.
I love all hills that waft the scent of Freedom on to me-,
For hills all hold the breath of life no matter where they be.
– Circa 1929
An Autumn day and the falling leaves
In the harvest’s hazy air;
The ripened nuts from the hazel trees,
A flash of wings through the minted leaves,
And a gentian, blue and fair.
A sudden surge from a nearby brook,
A bare old stump is a frightful nook
For a wee squirrel frisking there.
The Autumn days thru’ the Autumn long
Fill my heart with a vagabond song.
There are purple mists on mountains grey
Where the treetops reach the sky;
The honking geese trail the blue, blue way
Where a gay breeze lingers, just to play,
And then, laughing, rushes by.
A joyful note from a bird on wing;
A rustle and stir where treetops swing
Wakes a sleeping butterfly.
A vagabond song fills all the air
And leaves no place for a worldly care.
A beam of sun on the hills afar
Breaks the shroud of Autumn’s veil;
She found the sky, so dark with clouds,
Had banished far her carefree June.
Her cloak was gone, her flowers were dead;
Her fair face paled, she bowed her head.
Her tears fell fast as Autumn rain,
Young summer faced defeat again.
Forth through the world she went alone
To seek afar another throne.
– Circa 1936
Give to me one of the gifts of life-,
A dream that is wetted with tears;
One that has hung in its maker’s shop
Mid the cobwebs and dust of the years.
Let me carry the dream with its beauty unseen,
With its sweetness all hid neath a shroud;
Let the sun of the day chase the cobwebs away
As the dream I’ll let drift in a crowd.
Give to me one of the joys of life:
A heart that is aching to hold
A little love, a little mirth,
And a smile full of wealth untold.
Well I know that I’ll start with a tug at my heart
And my eyes will be clouded with tears,
As that dream settles down in the heart of a town
Over someone alone through the years.
The gift of life is a kindly word,
Or a smile, it is all the same.
The joy of life, perhaps a homeless waif
Who is trying to play the game.
Won’t you carry a dream though its worth you should deem
As unworthy of seeing the day,
And your heart will fill too with a hope born anew
As your smile chases heart-aches away.
– Circa 1936
I passed within the busy mart
At Lexington to-day.
I heeded not the milling crowds
That swarmed along my way.
I heeded not the market calls,
Nor yet the heat of day.
Were you to ask me what I saw
As past the stalls I trod:
Potatoes, corn or luscious fruit,
Or peas within the pod?
Nay! Nay! I’d say I only saw
A messenger from God.
I wandered with unseeing eyes
And saddened heart the while:
When in the mart’s dim cornered place
I caught a pansy’s smile,
And then my heart was lifted up
Along the homeward mile.
I left the pansy growing there
Within its corner low;
Perchance some other weary soul
May catch its lifting glow.
God put it there to touch my heart
As I went by, I know.
– 1928 –
The clouds have banked the sky with grey;
The wind is blowing strong;
A July day, upon the way
The dust is rolled along.
But let the storm clouds frown upon
My sorrow and my pain;
Let the wind blow high,
The rain draw nigh
So long as I
Am a child of the storm and rain.
The tears are falling from the sky.
And yet, outside to-day
From way up high, where white clouds cry
The sunbeams thread the way.
Do not grieve when you see me weep;
I can be happy too,
But the storm clouds bring
On memories wing
The rush and sting
That awakens my thoughts of you.
– July 1929 –
Sandy and his Scottish lass
Were a’travelling in the West,
Where the prairie towns all look alike
And each one seems the best.
Near the station platform lay a moose;
‘Twas shot at break of day.
The hunter, very human,
Was proud of his display.
When down the station platform our
Sandy happened by;
“An wot might that be, Sir,” said he.
“Tis a moose,” was the reply.
“There’s a mouse doon ther at the station, Jean.
“A mouse, nae, Sandy, nae!”
“Sure an’ this is a turrible country lass,
Come and see it for yursae.”
“Tis sure an ye won’t believe it.”
“Och, mon, fer mercy saeke,
A mouse, sae help me God!” says she,
“An wot might the rats be like!”
– Circa 1928
Little life, so fragile were your heartbeats;
So sweetly innocent your sudden fleeting smile;
So tiny were your footsteps on the carpet in the hall.
I only realized blankly, vaguely at the while
That they were gone;
And I poor foolish mortal,
I thought that you were mine to have, to love forever.
And I, dumb, senseless creature,
O could I have one moment how much more would I store away
Of priceless love and memories,
Born in one moment,
Than I gained from a few too brief years.
– Circa 1935