American Poetry

I’m usually not much into poetry. Like Twitter, I find it hard to get much out of the short forms of expression. But sometimes a lot can be said in just a few words, and sometimes poetry is just perfect for getting your feelings and intent across.

Candace of “the Platinum Dragon” is featuring American Poetry at her site and inviting us to share our favorites, so here’s one of mine…

A Rolling Stone

BY ROBERT W. SERVICE

There’s sunshine in the heart of me, My blood sings in the breeze; The mountains are a part of me, I’m fellow to the trees. My golden youth I’m squandering, Sun-libertine am I; A-wandering, a-wandering, Until the day I die.

I was once, I declare, a Stone-Age man, And I roomed in the cool of a cave; I have known, I will swear, in a new life-span, The fret and the sweat of a slave: For far over all that folks hold worth, There lives and there leaps in me A love of the lowly things of earth, And a passion to be free.

To pitch my tent with no prosy plan, To range and to change at will; To mock at the mastership of man, To seek Adventure’s thrill. Carefree to be, as a bird that sings; To go my own sweet way; To reck not at all what may befall, But to live and to love each day.

To make my body a temple pure Wherein I dwell serene; To care for the things that shall endure, The simple, sweet and clean. To oust out envy and hate and rage, To breathe with no alarm; For Nature shall be my anchorage, And none shall do me harm.

To shun all lures that debauch the soul, The orgied rites of the rich; To eat my crust as a rover must With the rough-neck down in the ditch. To trudge by his side whate’er betide; To share his fire at night; To call him friend to the long trail-end, And to read his heart aright.

To scorn all strife, and to view all life With the curious eyes of a child; From the plangent sea to the prairie, From the slum to the heart of the Wild. From the red-rimmed star to the speck of sand, From the vast to the greatly small; For I know that the whole for good is planned, And I want to see it all.

To see it all, the wide world-way, From the fig-leaf belt to the Pole; With never a one to say me nay, And none to cramp my soul. In belly-pinch I will pay the price, But God! let me be free; For once I know in the long ago, They made a slave of me.

In a flannel shirt from earth’s clean dirt, Here, pal, is my calloused hand! Oh, I love each day as a rover may, Nor seek to understand. To ENJOY is good enough for me; The gipsy of God am I; Then here’s a hail to each flaring dawn! And here’s a cheer to the night that’s gone! And may I go a-roaming on Until the day I die!

Then every star shall sing to me Its song of liberty; And every morn shall bring to me Its mandate to be free. In every throbbing vein of me I’ll feel the vast Earth-call; O body, heart and brain of me Praise Him who made it all!

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