Saturday, June 14, 2014


1952, with my brother Allen and my sister Jeanne

My father, a bricklayer, grew up in the day when students were "made" to memorize poems in class.

"When I Was One-And-Twenty," "Sea Fever," and this, from William Herbert Carruth, were heard frequently around the King homestead.

by: William Herbert Carruth (1859-1924)

A crystal and a cell,--
    A jelly-fish and a saurian,
    And caves where the cave-men dwell;
    Then a sense of law and beauty,
    And a face turned from the clod,--
    Some call it Evolution,
    And others call it God.
    A haze on the far horizon,
    The infinite, tender sky,
    The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
    And the wild geese sailing high,--
    And all over the upland and lowland
    The charm of the goldenrod,--
    Some of us call it Autumn,
    And others call it God.
    Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,
    When the moon is new and thin,
    Into our hearts high yearnings
    Come welling and surging in,--
    Come from the mystic ocean
    Whose rim no foot has trod,--
    Some of us call it longing,
    And others call it God.
    A picket frozen on duty,--
    A mother starved for her brood,--
    Socrates drinking the hemlock,
    And Jesus on the rood;
    And millions who, humble and nameless,
    The straight, hard pathways plod,--
    Some call it Consecration,
    And others call it God.
Thank you, Daddy.


  1. There's a lady in my building, ninety-plus, who still can recite the first few stanzas of Longfellow's "Village Blacksmith." I was quite impressed!

    Am wondering if the poet Wm Herbert Carruth is a relative of the poet Hayden Carruth (1921-2008). The recent Carruth penned more than a few good poems, "Tabula Rasa" & "Almost April" among them.

    A prayer for your dad on this day after Father's Day!

    1. Under the spreading chestnut tree, the village smithy stands....
      His brow is wet with honest sweat, he earns whate'er he can...

      My father actually had me memorize "Village Blacksmith" at one point...Those are the only two lines, perhaps not consecutive, that I remember. Will have to re-visit. No mention under Hayden C's wikipedia entry that his father was Wm. Herbert but who knows? Hope you had a lovely birthday, Tom.


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