Songs for the People

image by Rebekah Choat

image by Rebekah Choat

Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.

Not for the clashing of sabres,
For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of men
With more abundant life.

Let me make the songs for the weary,
Amid life’s fever and fret,
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
And careworn brows forget.

Let me sing for little children,
Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
To float o’er life’s highway.

I would sing for the poor and aged,
When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
Where there shall be no night.

Our world, so worn and weary,
Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.

Music to soothe all its sorrow,
Till war and crime shall cease;
And the hearts of men grown tender
Girdle the world with peace.

~ Frances E. W. Harper

My November Guest

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My Sorrow, when she’s here with me,
thinks these dark days of autumn rain
are beautiful as days can be;
she loves the bare, the withered tree;
she walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She’s glad the birds are gone away,
she’s glad her simple worsted gray
is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate deserted trees,
the faded earth, the heavy sky,
the beauties she so truly sees,
she thinks I have no eye for these,
and vexes me for reason why.

Not yesterday I learned to know
the love of bare November days
before the coming of the snow,
but it were vain to tell her so,
and they are better for her praise.

~ Robert Frost