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Simple Life Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Simplicity by Emily Dickinson
  2. To venerate the simple days by Emily Dickinson
  3. Birthplace of Robert Burns by Thomas William Parsons
  4. The Simple Life by Douglas Malloch
  5. Lettie and John by H. H. Fuson
  6. Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope
  7. The Happiest Heart by John Vance Cheney
  8. The Miller of Dee by Charles Mackay
  9. Pride by Charles Swain

  1. Simplicity

    by Emily Dickinson

    How happy is the little stone
    That rambles in the road alone,
    And doesn't care about careers,
    And exigencies never fears;
    Whose coat of elemental brown
    A passing universe put on;
    And independent as the sun,
    Associates or glows alone,
    Fulfilling absolute decree
    In casual simplicity.

  2. To venerate the simple days

    by Emily Dickinson

    To venerate the simple days
    Which lead the seasons by,
    Needs but to remember
    That from you or me
    They may take the trifle
    Termed mortality!

    To invest existence with a stately air,
    Needs but to remember
    That the acorn there
    Is the egg of forests
    For the upper air!

  3. Birthplace of Robert Burns

    by Thomas William Parsons

    A lowly roof of simple thatch,—
    No home of pride, of pomp, and sin,—
    So freely let us lift the latch,
    The willing latch that says, “Come in.”

    Plain dwelling this! a narrow door,
    No carpet by soft sandals trod,
    But just for peasant’s feet a floor,—
    Small kingdom for a child of God!

    Yet here was Scotland’s noblest born,
    And here Apollo chose to light;
    And here those large eyes hailed the morn
    That had for beauty such a sight!

    There, as the glorious infant lay,
    Some angel fanned him with his wing,
    And whispered, “Dawn upon the day
    Like a new sun! go forth and sing!”

    He rose and sang, and Scotland heard,—
    The round world echoed with his song,
    And hearts in every land were stirred
    With love, and joy, and scorn of wrong.

    Some their cold lips disdainful curled;
    Yet the sweet lays would many learn;
    But he went singing through the world,
    In most melodious unconcern.

    For flowers will grow, and showers will fall,
    And clouds will travel o’er the sky;
    And the great God, who cares for all,
    He will not let his darlings die.

    But they shall sing in spite of men,
    In spite of poverty and shame,
    And show the world the poet’s pen
    May match the sword in winning fame.

  4. The Simple Life

    by Douglas Malloch

    You skirt in a hammock, you dame in a swing, you dude in the stern of a yacht,
    You think you are hep to this picnickin' thing, an' close up to Nature you've got.
    You load up a basket with sissified grub, with sandwiches, olives an' jell,
    An' travel ten miles on a trolley or tub an' say you will rough it a spell.
    You carry a napkin to wipe off your chin, a tablecloth folded an' neat,
    An' china an' silverware always put in—for otherwise how could you eat?
    You set on the grass an' lay chicken away in under a maple or pine
    An' rave of "the forest primeval" an' say the life that is simple is fine.

    The life that is simple? You gimme a pain. You think you've a hero behaved
    If venturin' half of a mile from the train or off of a street that is paved.
    The life that is simple?—With chicken for lunch to eat off a genuine plate?
    You're the funniest, phoniest, buckwheater bunch that ever broke loose in the state.
    I tell you, my friends in the lawn tennis suits an' cute little red ribbon lids,
    To us in the woods in our snowpacks or boots you're nothin' but sissies an' kids.
    The life that is simple? If really you'd like to be a real simple life cuss,
    Along up the river to camp take a hike an' put in a Winter with us.

    We'll feed you outdoors all you want to be fed, an' life will be simple enough;
    We won't give you butter to put on your bread, but stoke you with heartier stuff—
    Pork ribs by the yard that are swimmin' in fat an' other choice cuts of the meat,
    Sow belly an' other such dishes as that, rump roast now an' then for a treat.
    Our beans you will like, if a noodle you've got, because that's the easiest way—
    It's better to like 'em, because, like or not, you'll git 'em four feedin's a day.
    An' dainties we'll give you, of that never fear, along with our hunyacks an' coons;
    Your palate we'll please an' your appetite cheer with plenty of pickles an' prunes.

    We won't have no tables or pillows or stools, or waiters to pass things around;
    Tin plates an' tin cups an' steel forks are the tools, the grub it is set on the ground.
    The only request we'll be makin' of you when our table de hoty you try
    Is that you won't grab the best chunks in the stew or carelessly step in the pie.
    You'll have to look out for yourself like the rest, there's no one to pour or to carve.
    Perhaps you can't eat any chuck but the best? Of course, if you can't, you can starve.
    But, if you partake like the rest of the bunch an' shovel some food in your phiz,
    I guess you'll go back to the town with a hunch you know what the simple life is.

  5. Lettie and John

    by H. H. Fuson

    Lettie and John lived on a mountain side,
    On the very edge of time's slow moving tide.

    They often sat by deepest-flowing spring
    And viewed the marching centuries in the thing.

    They walked out there beneath great-branching trees
    And scanned the lofty heavens up thru these.

    At night the stars came out in clearest sky,
    To shine thru trees, their hopes to glorify.

    They tilled the fragrant flowers at their door
    And spent their days in living life the more.

    They wrought in fields not far from their dear home
    And sought less of the world in which to roam.

    They reared ten children by the hardest toil
    And kept themselves free from the world's turmoil.

    They sang their songs before the cabin fire
    And kept their souls clean of base desire.

    They lived their lives upon the sloping sod
    And surely found, in this true life, their God.

  6. Ode on Solitude

    by Alexander Pope

    Happy the man, whose wish and care
    A few paternal acres bound,
    Content to breathe his native air,
    In his own ground.

    Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
    Whose flocks supply him with attire,
    Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
    In winter fire.

    Blest, who can unconcernedly find
    Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
    In health of body, peace of mind,
    Quiet by day,

    Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
    Together mixed; sweet recreation;
    And innocence, which most does please,
    With meditation.

    Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
    Thus unlamented let me die;
    Steal from the world, and not a stone
    Tell where I lie.

    And know this truth of the human breast,
    That, wanting little, is being blest.

    – Hannah Flagg Gould
    The Old Elm of Newbury
  7. The Happiest Heart

    by John Vance Cheney

    Who drives the horses of the sun
    Shall lord it but a day;
    Better the lowly deed were done,
    And kept the humble way.

    The rust will find the sword of fame,
    The dust will hide the crown;
    Ay, none shall nail so high his name
    Time will not tear it down.

    The happiest heart that ever beat
    Was in some quiet breast
    That found the common daylight sweet,
    And left to Heaven the rest.

  8. The Miller of Dee

    by Charles Mackay

    There dwelt a miller, hale and bold,
    Beside the river Dee;
    He worked and sang from morn till night,
    No lark more blithe than he;
    And this the burden of his song
    For ever used to be:
    “I envy nobody, no, not I,
    And nobody envies me.”

    “Thou’rt wrong, my friend, said good King Hal—
    “As wrong as wrong can be—
    For could my heart be light as thine,
    I’d gladly change with thee;
    And tell me now, what makes thee sing,
    With voice so loud and free,
    While I am sad, though I’m the king,
    Beside the river Dee.”

    The miller smiled and doffed his cap:
    “I earn my bread,” quoth he;
    “I love my wife, I love my friend,
    I love my children three;
    I owe no penny I cannot pay;
    I thank the river Dee,
    That turns the mill that grinds the corn
    That feeds my babes and me.”

    “Good friend,” said Hal, and sighed the while,
    “Farewell and happy be;
    But say no more, if thou’dst be true,
    That no one envies thee:
    Thy mealy cap is worth my crown,
    Thy mill, my kingdom’s fee;
    Such men as thou are England’s boast,
    O miller of the Dee!”

  9. Pride

    by Charles Swain

    Through Pride may show some nobleness,
    When Honor's its ally,
    Yet there is such a thing on earth,
    As holding heads too high!
    The sweetest bird builds near the ground,
    The loveliest flower springs low;
    And we must stoop for happiness,
    If we its worth would know.

    Like water that encrusts the rose,
    Still hardening to its core,
    So Pride encases human hearts
    Until they feel no more.
    Shut up within themselves they live,
    And selfishly they end
    A life, that never kindness did
    To kindred, or to friend!

    Whilst Virtue, like the dew of heaven,
    Upon the heart descends,
    And draws its hidden sweetness out
    The more—as more it bends!
    For there's a strength in lowliness,
    Which nerves us to endure,—
    A heroism in distress,
    Which renders victory sure!

    The humblest being born is great,
    If true to his degree;
    His virtue illustrates his state,
    Whate'er that state may be!—
    Thus let us daily learn to love
    Simplicity and worth;—
    For not the Eagle, but the Dove,
    Brought Peace unto the earth!

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