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Random thoughts about random things by a random person

“The House by the Side of the Road” by Sam Walter Foss

4 Comments

I came across this poem today and it really touched me so I thought I’d share it. To me it’s beautiful. I hope you like it.

Firstly, it reminds me that I need to do more to serve and help people. I’m more like the hermit he refers to. But I need to put my house – myself – by the side of the road more.

I also love the imagery that he uses. And I love that he puts us all on the same level: “The men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and bad as I” and “They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish- so am I.” It gets rid of the “us” and “them” idea that prevails so often.

The House by the Side of the Road

by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

There are hermit
souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

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;
That 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.

Link to source: https://www.alsintl.com/resources/poetry/the-house-by-the-side-of-the-road/

Author: heresmeg

I am an avid reader and learner who, not surprisingly, also loves to write!

4 thoughts on ““The House by the Side of the Road” by Sam Walter Foss

  1. I love this poem with all my heart

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had never read it before. I was looking for something to send a friend’s daughter who is on a mission and came across it. I’ve read it three times already and each time it chokes me up. It’s so beautiful.

      Like

  2. Such a lovely sentiment. Thanks so much for sharing it with my girl. You are so sweet!!

    Liked by 1 person

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