When She SmiledIt's a beggars life, said the Queen of SpainMore Like This
I believed that I was dreaming
Got a feeling I've been here before
On the water down in New Orleans
I'm reading last year's papers
Like a thousand times before
What are the secrets
Of the man that I once knew
Panatela and old black derby hat
It started out good
For you and me we understood
The mechanized hum of another world
It seems like only yesterday
I was out of mind and you
Tell me I'm the only one
The groove that never quits
That's my claim to fame
This life can be very strange
Darling if you only knew
All the signs are right this time
I'm gonna let it roll
The Hard ManIrish laddy with a lavender bentMore Like This
The darling of society with zero propriety
Your wit is flamboyant, this is true
Though I doubt a Vermonter
Should trust a lech like you.
I've wandered the lanes of hardy New England
Learning the rhythms of their stoic band
Perchance to describe a snowy wood or
The sweat and toil of the reaping man.
You reveled in infamy
Flouting conventions with your blithe tongue a-stir
Sashaying with the ladies and lads, partying till dawn
Remarking that your "blue china" outstripped even you.
We both were born of a rare generation, I'll allow
The 19th Century in all her Victorian charms and strait-laced graces
Yet in your folly you bucked the prevailing winds
To your immediate detriment and eventual ruin.
As for me, I was nearly hailed a National Treasure
Having received a Congressional Medal of Honor
Not s'bad for a surly old codger
Whose fame was attributed to the common man.
Tis' sad that you were forced to break rocks
Laboring under an iron hand
If only you'd bee
Some Things Are StrongA country table set for a threshing gang lunchMore Like This
In the deep green shade of a towering maple.
While the sun shines hard, the men will toil at the harvest
Till the last sheaves are done.
Then they move along to the next farm
To begin their work again.
So it is with a poet
Who has spent his years haunting
The rock-strewn fields and birch-lined logging roads
Of New England.
Learning the colors of her moods,
Listening to her songs
In a thousand laughing brooks;
Wondering at the cathedral stillness
Following a January snowstorm.
I've watched the burning sun make his way
Down behind the rows of corn
And fieldstone walls.
With a tip of my hat to the crimson reds
Along the horizon line
I bid him go till he brings the morning
With him once again.
It is good to bring to mind
The paths I've trod, the lakes I've fished,
And neighbors I've met in passing,
Perhaps in a simple dooryard.
Where a dog is barking from the porch,
And cotton sheets hang on a clothesline
Drenched in the lilac air.