14+ Best Edgar Albert Guest Poems You Must Read Right Now

Edgar Albert Guest was an American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People’s Poet. His poetry style often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life.

If you’re searching for famous poems ever that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of most famous Ts Eliot poems, selected Rabindranath Tagore poems, and best known Roald Dahl poems.

Famous Edgar Albert Guest Poems

Motherhood

I wonder if he’ll stop to think,
When the long years have traveled by,
Who heard his plea: ‘I want a drink!’
Who was the first to hear him cry?
I wonder if he will recall
The patience of her and the smile,
The kisses after every fall,
The love that lasted all the while?
I wonder, as I watch them there,
If he’ll remember, when he’s grown,
How came the silver in her hair
And why her loveliness has flown?
Yet thus my mother did for me,
Night after night and day by day,
For such a care I used to be,
As such a boy I used to play.
I know that I was always sure
Of tenderness at mother’s knee,
That every hurt of mine she’d cure,
And every fault she’d fail to see.
But who recalls the tears she shed,
And all the wishes gratified,
The eager journeys to his bed,
I took for granted, just as he,
The boundless love that mother gives,
But watching them I’ve come to see
Time teaches every man who lives
How much of him is not his own;
And now I know the countless ways
By which her love for me was shown,
And I recall forgotten days.
Perhaps some day a little chap
As like him as he’s now like me,
Shall climb into his mother’s lap,
For comfort and for sympathy,
And he shall know what now I know,
And see through eyes a trifle dim,
The mother of the long ago
Who daily spent her strength for him.

Playing The Game

When the umpire calls you out,
It’s no use to stamp and shout,
Wildly kicking dust about—
Play the game!
And though his decision may
End your chances for the day,
Rallies often end that way—
Play the game!
When the umpire shouts: ‘Strike two!’
And the ball seems wide to you,
There is just one thing to do:
Play the game!
Keep your temper at the plate,
Grit your teeth and calmly wait,
For the next one may be straight
Play the game!
When you think the umpire’s wrong,
Tell him so, but jog along;
Nothing’s gained by language strong—
Play the game!
For his will must be obeyed
Wheresoever baseball’s played,
Take his verdict as it’s made—
Play the game!
Son of mine, beyond a doubt,
Fate shall often call you ‘out,’
But keep on, with courage stout—
Play the game!
In the battlefield of men
There’ll come trying moments when
You shall lose the verdict—then
Play the game!
There’s an umpire who shall say
You have missed your greatest play,
And shall dash your hopes away—
Play the game!
You must bow unto his will
Though your chance it seems to kill,
And you think he erred, but still
Play the game!
For the Great Umpire above
Sees what we see nothing of,
By His wisdom and His love—
Play the game!
Keep your faith in Him although
His grim verdicts hurt you so,
At His Will we come and go—
Play the game!

The Family Doctor

I’ve tried the high-toned specialists, who doctor folks to-day;
I’ve heard the throat man whisper low ‘Come on now let us spray’;
I’ve sat in fancy offices and waited long my turn,
And paid for fifteen minutes what it took a week to earn;
But while these scientific men are kindly, one and all,
I miss the good old doctor that my mother used to call.
The old-time family doctor! Oh, I am sorry that he’s gone,
He ushered us into the world and knew us every one;
He didn’t have to ask a lot of questions, for he knew
Our histories from birth and all the ailments we’d been through.
And though as children small we feared the medicines he’d send,
The old-time family doctor grew to be our dearest friend.
No hour too late, no night too rough for him to heed our call;
He knew exactly where to hang his coat up in the hall;
He knew exactly where to go, which room upstairs to find
The patient he’d been called to see, and saying: ‘Never mind,
I’ll run up there myself and see what’s causing all the fuss.’
It seems we grew to look and lean on him as one of us.
He had a big and kindly heart, a fine and tender way,
And more than once I’ve wished that I could call him in to-day.
The specialists are clever men and busy men, I know,
And haven’t time to doctor as they did long years ago;
But some day he may come again, the friend that we can call,
The good old family doctor who will love us one and all.

The Homely Man

Looks as though a cyclone hit him—
Can’t buy clothes that seem to fit him;
An’ his cheeks are rough like leather,
Made for standin’ any weather.
Outwards he was fashioned plainly,
Loose o’ joint an’ blamed ungainly,
But I’d give a lot if I’d
Been built half as fine inside.

Best thing I can tell you of him
Is the way the children love him.
Now an’ then I get to thinkin’
He’s much like old Abe Lincoln;
Homely like a gargoyle graven—
Worse’n that when he’s unshaven;
But I’d take his ugly phiz
Jes’ to have a heart like his.

I ain’t over-sentimental,
But old Blake is so blamed gentle
An’ so thoughtfull-like of others
He reminds us of our mothers.
Rough roads he is always smoothing
An’ his way is, Oh, so soothin’,
That he takes away the sting
When your heart is sorrowing.

Children gather round about him
Like they can’t get on without him.
An’ the old depend upon him,
Pilin’ all their burdens on him,
Like as though the thing that grieves ’em
Has been lifted when he leaves ’em.
Homely? That can’t be denied,
But he’s glorious inside

The Brethren

The world is needing you and me,
In places where we ought to be;
Somewhere today it’s needing you
To stand for what you know is true.
And needing me somewhere today.
To keep the faith, let come what may.

The world needs honest men today
To lead its youth along the way,
Men who will write in all their deeds
The beauty of their spoken creeds,
And spurn advantage here and gain,
On which deceit must leave its stain.

The world needs men who will not brag,
Men who will honor Freedom’s Flag,
Men, who although the way is hard,
Against the lure of shame will guard,
The world needs gentle men and true
And calls aloud to me and you.

The world needs men of lofty aim,
Not merely men of skill and fame,
Not merely leaders wise and grave,
Or learned men or soldiers brave,
But men whose lives are fair to see,
Such men as you and I can be.

The Need

We were sittin’ there,
and smokin’ of our pipes, discussin’ things
Like taxes, votes for wimmin,
an’ the totterin’ thrones of kings,
When he ups an’ strokes his whiskers
with his hand an’ says to me:
‘Changin’ laws an’ legislatures ain’t
as fur as I can see,
Goin’ to make this world much better,
unless somehow we can
Find a way to make a better an’ a finer sort o’ man.

‘The trouble ain’t with statutes or with systems—
not at all;
It’s with humans jus’ like we air
an’ their petty ways an’ small.
We could stop our writin’ law-books
an’ our regulatin’ rules
If a better sort of manhood
was the product of our schools.
For the things that we air needin’
isn’t writing’ from a pen
Or bigger guns to shoot with,
but a bigger type of men.

‘I reckon all these problems
air jest ornery like the weeds,
They grow in soil that oughta nourish
only decent deeds,
An’ they waste our time an’ fret us when,
if we were thinkin’ straight
An’ livin’ right,
they wouldn’t be so terrible and great.
A good horse needs no snaffle
and a good man, I opine,
Doesn’t need a law to check him
or to force him into line.

‘If we ever start in teachin’ to our children,
year by year,
How to live with one another,
there’ll be less o’ trouble here.
If we’d teach ’em how to neighbor
an’ to walk in honor’s ways,
We could settle every problem
which the mind o’ man can raise.
What we’re needin’ isn’t systems
or some regulatin’ plan
But a bigger an’ a finer an’ a truer type o’ man.’

The Best Land

If I knew a better land on this glorious world of ours,
Where a man gets bigger money and is working shorter hours;
If the Briton or the Frenchman had an easier life than mine.
I’d pack my goods this minute and I’d sail across the brine.
But I notice when an alien wants a land of hope and cheer
And a future for his children, he comes out and settles here.

Here’s the glorious land of Freedom.
Here’s the milk and honey goal
For the peasant out of Russia, for the long subjected Pole.
It is here the sons of Italy and men of Austria turn
For the comfort of their bodies and the wages they can earn.
And with all that men complain of, and with all that goes amiss,
There’s no happier, better nation on the world’s broad face than this.

So I’m thinking when I listen to the wails of discontent.
And some foreign disbeliever spreads his evil sentiment,
That the breed of hate and envy that is sowing sin and shame
In this glorious land of Freedom should go back from whence it came.
And I hold it is the duty, rich or poor, of every man.
Who enjoys this country’s bounty to be ALL American.

The Frosting Dish

When I was just a little lad
Not more than eight or nine,
One special treat to make me glad
Was set apart as ‘mine.’
On baking days she granted me
The small boy’s dearest wish,
And when the cake was finished, she
Gave me the frosting dish.
I’ve eaten chocolate many ways,
I’ve had it hot and cold;
I’ve sampled it throughout my days
In every form it’s sold.
And though I still am fond of it,
And hold its flavor sweet,
The icing dish, I still admit,
Remains the greatest treat.
Never has chocolate tasted so,
Nor brought to me such joy
As in those days of long ago
When I was but a boy,
And stood beside my mother fair,
Waiting the time when she
Would gently stoop to kiss me there
And hand the plate to me.
Now there’s another in my place
Who stands where once I stood.
And watches with an upturned face
And waits for ‘something good.’
And as she hands him spoon and plate
I chuckle low and wish
That I might be allowed to wait
To scrape the frosting dish.

Old-Fashioned Letters

Old-fashioned letters! How good they were!
And nobody writes them now;
Never at all comes in the scrawl
On the written pages which told us all
The news of town and the folks we knew,
And what they had done or were going to do.
It seems we’ve forgotten how
To spend an hour with our pen in hand
To write in the language we understand.
Old-fashioned letters we used to get
And ponder each fond line o’er;
The glad words rolled like running gold,
As smoothly their tales of joy they told,
And our hearts beat fast with a keen delight
As we read the news they were pleased to write
And gathered the love they bore.
But few of the letters that come to-day
Are penned to us in the old-time way.
Old-fashioned letters that told us all
The tales of the far away;
Where they’d been and the folks they’d seen;
And better than any fine magazine
Was the writing too, for it bore the style
Of a simple heart and a sunny smile,
And was pure as the breath of May.
Some of them oft were damp with tears,
But those were the letters that lived for years.
Old-fashioned letters! How good they were!
And, oh, how we watched the mails;
But nobody writes of the quaint delights
Of the sunny days and the merry nights
Or tells us the things that we yearn to know—
That art passed out with the long ago,
And lost are the simple tales;
Yet we all would happier be, I think,
If we’d spend more time with our pen and ink.

Picture Books

I HOLD the finest picture-books
Are woods an’ fields an’ runnin’ brooks;
An’ when the month o’ May has done
Her paintin’, an’ the mornin’ sun
Is lightin’ just exactly right
Each gorgeous scene for mortal sight,
I steal a day from toil an’ go
To see the springtime’s picture show.

It’s everywhere I choose to tread—
Perhaps I’ll find a violet bed
Half hidden by the larger scenes,
Or group of ferns, or living greens,
So graceful an’ so fine, I swear
That angels must have placed them there
To beautify the lonely spot
That mortal man would have forgot.

What hand can paint a picture book
So marvelous as a runnin’ brook?
It matters not what time o’ day
You visit it, the sunbeams play
Upon it just exactly right,
The mysteries of God to light.
No human brush could ever trace
A droopin’ willow with such grace!

Page after page, new beauties rise
To thrill with gladness an’ surprise
The soul of him who drops his care
And seeks the woods to wander there.
Birds, with the angel gift o’ song,
Make music for him all day long;
An’ nothin’ that is base or mean
Disturbs the grandeur of the scene.

There is no hint of hate or strife;
The woods display the joy of life,
An’ answer with a silence fine
The scoffer’s jeer at power divine.
When doubt is high an’ faith is low,
Back to the woods an’ fields I go,
An’ say to violet and tree:
‘No mortal hand has fashioned thee.’

Folks

We was speakin’ of folks, jes’ common folks,
An’ we come to this conclusion,
That wherever they be, on land or sea,
They warm to a home allusion;
That under the skin an’ under the hide
There’s a spark that starts a-glowin’
Whenever they look at a scene or book
That something of home is showin’.

They may differ in creeds an’ politics,
They may argue an’ even quarrel,
But their throats grip tight,
If they catch a sight
Of their favorite elm or laurel.
An’ the winding lane that they used to tread
With never a care to fret ’em,
Or the pasture gate where they used to wait,
Right under the skin will get ’em.

Now folks is folks on their different ways,
With their different griefs an’ pleasures,
But the home they knew, when their years were few,
Is the dearest of all their treasures.
An’ the richest man to the poorest waif
Right under the skin is brother
When they stand an’ sigh,
With a tear-dimmed eye,
At a thought of the dear old mother.

It makes no difference where it may be,
Nor the fortunes that years may alter,
Be they simple or wise, the old home ties
Make all of ’em often falter.
Time may robe ’em in sackcloth coarse
Or garb ’em in gorgeous splendor,
But whatever their lot, they keep one spot
Down deep that is sweet an’ tender.

We was speakin’ of folks, jes’ common folks,
An’ we come to this conclusion,
That one an’ all, be they great or small,
Will warm to a home allusion;
That under the skin an’ the beaten hide
They’re kin in a real affection
For the joys they knew,
When their years were few,
An’ the home of their recollection.

Boy O’ Mine

Boy o’ mine, boy o’ mine, this is my prayer for you,
This is my dream and my thought and my care for you:
Strong be the spirit which dwells in the breast of you,
Never may folly or shame get the best of you;
You shall be tempted in fancied security,
But make no choice that is stained with impurity.

Boy o’ mine, boy o’ mine, time shall command of you
Thought from the brain of you, work from the hand of you;
Voices of pleasure shall whisper and call to you;
Luring you far from the hard tasks that fall to you;
Then as you’re meeting life’s bitterest test of men,
God grant you strength to be true as the best of men.

Boy o’ mine, boy o’ mine, singing your way along,
Cling to your laughter and cheerfully play along;
Kind to your neighbor be, offer your hand to him,
You shall grow great as your heart shall expand to him;
But when for victory sweet you are fighting there,
Know that your record of life you are writing there.

Boy o’ mine, boy o’ mine, this is my prayer for you;
Never may shame pen one line of despair for you;
Never may conquest or glory mean all to you;
Cling to your honor whatever shall fall to you;
Rather than victory, rather than fame to you,
Choose to be true and let nothing bring shame to you.’

The Common Joys

THESE joys are free to all who live
The rich and poor, the great and low:
The charms which kindness has to give,
The smiles which friendship may bestow,
The honor of a well-spent life,
The glory of a purpose true,
High courage in the stress of strife,
And peace when every task is through.

Nor class nor caste nor race nor creed,
Nor greater might can take away
The splendor of an honest deed.
Who nobly serves from day to day
Shall walk the road of life with pride,
With friends who recognize his worth,
For never are these joys denied
Unto the humblest man on earth.

Not all may rise to world-wide fame,
Not all may gather fortune’s gold,
Not all life’s luxuries may claim;
In differing ways success is told.
But all may know the peace of mind
Which comes from service brave and true;
The poorest man can still be kind,
And nobly live till life is through.

These joys abound for one and all:
The pride of fearing no man’s scorn,
Of standing firm, where others fall,
Of bearing well what must be borne.
He that shall do an honest deed
Shall win an honest deed’s rewards;
For these, no matter race or creed,
Life unto every man affords.

He’s Taken Out His Papers

He’s taken out his papers, an’ he’s just like you an’ me.
He’s sworn to love the Stars and Stripes an’ die for it, says he.
An’ he’s done with dukes an’ princes, an’ he’s done with kings an’ queens,
An’ he’s pledged himself to freedom, for he knows what freedom means.

He’s bought himself a bit of ground, an’, Lord, he’s proud an’ glad!
For in the land he came from that is what he never had.
Now his kids can beat his writin’, an’ they’re readin’ books, says he,
That the children in his country never get a chance to see.

He’s taken out his papers, an’ he’s prouder than a king:
‘It means a lot to me,’ says he, ‘just like the breath o’ spring,
For a new life lies before us; we’ve got hope an’ faith an’ cheer;
We can face the future bravely, an’ our kids don’t need to fear.’

He’s taken out his papers, an’ his step is light to-day,
For a load is off his shoulders an’ he treads an easier way;
An’ he’ll tell you, if you ask him, so that you can understand,
Just what freedom means to people who have known some other land.

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