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  October 22, 2014
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Home > Holidays > Graduation > Poems > The House By the Side of the Road

Graduation poemby Sam Walter Foss

This poem has as its keynote friendship and sympathy for other people. It is a paradox of life that by hoarding love and happiness we lose them, and that only by giving them away can we keep them for ourselves. The more we share, the more we possess. We of course find in other people weaknesses and sins, but our best means of curing these are through a wise and sympathetic understanding.

The House By the Side of the Road

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.

I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears -
Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
And the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by -
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

 

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