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American poet, humorist, journalist and miscellaneous writer
(1881 - 1959)

It matters not what goal you seek
  Its secret here reposes:
    You've got to dig from week to week
      To get Results or Roses.
      - [Goals]

There is an education of the mind
  Which all require and parents only start.
    But there is training of a nobler kind
      And that's the education of the heart.
        Lessons that are most difficult to give
          Are Faith and Courage and the way to live.
      - [Education]

Somebody said it couldn't be done,
  But he with a chuckle replied
    That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
      Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
        So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
          On his face. If he worried he hid it.
            He started to sing as he tackled the thing
              That couldn't be done, and he did it.
      - It Couldn't be Done [Attempt : Success]

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 an' the folks we knew, \ An' what they had done or were going to do. \ It seems we've forgotten how \ To spend an hour with our pen in hand \ An' 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 today \ 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,\ An' better than any fine magazine \ Was the writin' too, for it bore the style \ Of a simple heart an' a sunny smile, \ An' 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 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.
      - Old-Fashioned Letters [Letters]

Along a stream that raced and ran
  Through tangled trees and over stones,
    That long had heard the pipes o' Pan
      And shared the joys that nature owns,
        I met a fellow fisherman,
          Who greeted me in cheerful tones.
            . . . .
              Foes think the bad in him they've guessed
                And prate about the wrong they scan;
                  Friends that have seen him at his best
                    Believe they know his every plan;
                      I know him better than the rest,
                        I know him as a fisherman.
      - The Fisherman, from "Just Folks" [Fishing]

There's nothing that builds up a toil-weary soul
  Like a day on a stream,
    Back on the banks of the old fishing hole
      Where a fellow can dream.
        There's nothing so good for a man as to flee
          From the city and lie
            Full length in the shade of a whispering tree
              And gaze at the sky.
                . . . .
                  It is good for the world that men hunger to go
                    To the banks of a stream,
                      And weary of sham and of pomp and of show
                        They have somewhere to dream.
                          For this life would be dreary and sordid and base
                            Did they not now and then
                              Seek refreshment and calm in God's wide, open space
                                And come back to be men.
      - The Fishing Cure, from "A Heap o' Livin'"

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