Pain to Poetry
JOAN OF ARC
Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans,
She was but a peasant maid,
Void of learning and of style;
But in God her faith was great.
She heard voices from on high,
That she was to save her land,
Leading France's armies on,
Trusting in God's mighty hand.
That divinely she was called,
She convinced the uncrowned king;
Who chose her the French to lead,
Victory to their country bring.
So in armor clad she led
France's armies on to free
Orleans from the English siege;
Crowned her king she then did see.
To her home she longed to go,
Thinking that her work was done;
But the king forced her to stay,
Still his army to lead on.
Bravely she did fight again,
Wounded in a losing fight,
She soon took the field again,
Knowing that her cause was right.
Captured by Burgundians,
To the English she was sold;
In the prison and her trial,
Shameful treatment did unfold.
Slighted by her king she was,
Who tried not to ransom her;
At the stake she had to burn
As a witch and heretic.
Bravely she went to her death,
Faithful to her God and king;
And her spirit after death
Courage to the French did bring.
Daring did her spirit give
To the French, now fighting well,
Till the English from their land
They forever did expel.
Saint and heroine she is
In all lands now far and wide;
Faith in God she taught to all
By the way she lived and died.
BEFORE THE FIRST WORLD WAR AND NOW
I remember in the bygone days
Since from McKinley's time,
We boys did have a happy "Fourth"
With a nickel and a dime;
When you could get a good square meal
For a quarter anywhere,
When hundred dollars a month were wages
Called good or more than fair;
When Henry Ford was called a fool
For paying five bucks a day;
They claimed that he would soon be broke,
His fortune would fade away;
But now they ask fivę bucks an hour,
Still more and more in time;
And many live on unemployed,
While idleness breeds crime.
The dollar is hurt by deficits,
Caused by wars that cause more wars,
And neglect the problems here at home
Till we are through with war.
THE CAT AND THE SQUIRREL
Said the cat to the squirrel,
"You are teasing me.
I am going to catch you
Up in that tree."
Said the squirrel to the cat,
**We'll see about that, Miss Mew."
Then climbed out of reach, taunting the cat,
Said, "How do you do?"
Kitty so nimble, so cunning, so cute,
I almost fancy you playing the lute;
Sitting there watching me, what do you spy
With your bright, piercing, maneuvering eye?
Planning to jump on my lap and to play,
Whiling your happy, young hours away;
With your cleverful wooing and charm,
Dear little creature, I can do you no harm.
Skipping and jumping outdoors through the day,
It is a pastime to watch you at play;
Alert and nimble, you jump at my call,
Cleverly catching and rolling the ball.
Poor little birdie you chase for a jest,
I am afraid you'll be wrecking its nest;
But with your playfullness, beauty, and charm,
Dear little rascal, I can do you no harm.
WASHINGTON AND LINCOLN
Washington and Lincoln are
America's greatest men
One of the mighty freeman's sword,
The other of tongue and pen.
One fathered the greatest country
That ever was yet to be;
The other preserved it nobly well,
And set the bondmen free.
Both had their dark and hopeless hours__
And met both scoff and scorn,
From traitor and the jealous friend,
Before success was born.
Both called on God for needed help
And trusted in His might;
Both led men on to victory
For liberty and right.
They in their graves are resting now
With honor to them tendered,
For faith they had in free mankind,
And service nobly rendered.
Israel, God's chosen people,
By God called and ordained,
The seed promised to Abraham
Through ages has been maintained.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
Sojourned in the Promised Land";
Jacob was taken to Egypt
Through Joseph by God's own hand.
Moses from Egypt led them out,
And the law from God he gave;
David made them a nation strong,
From the gentiles kept them safe.
They fell from God then met defeat,
Were sent into captivity;
A remnant came from bondage back
And rebuilt the "Holy City."
For disbelief, again by God,
They were given to gentile hands;
They were beaten, scourged, and chastened,
And scattered through all the lands.
The nations that treated them right,
To wealth and power have grown;
The nations that treated them wrong
Were punished and overthrown.
Israel's enemies of old,
From Pharaoh to Hitler are gone;
But they, far scattered and chastened,
Protected by God, live on.
Israel is coming together,
From lands near and far away;
And their land again is flowing
With milk and honey today.
No power on earth can stop them
To rebuild the Promised Land,"
Of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Protected by God's great hand.
Mankind now longs for lasting peace;
It is not in arms, nor pomp, nor pelf;
It is in “Love your neighbor as yourself!''
So let in practice this increase;
Then shall ring out from every shore,
"Away with war ... the earthly hell;
And let the bells the peacetime tell, Man shall strive in war no more!"
The Levite mother of Moses,
Till he was three months old,
Hid him from Pharaoh's killers;
But then him no longer could hold.
She put him by the river in an ark,
Where Pharaoh's daughter came bathing;
A maid brought the ark to the princess,
Who pitied the babe, then weeping.
The princess rescued the baby
From her father's deadly curse;
And through the child's spying sister,
His mother became his nurse.
His mother raised and taught him
Her faith since Abraham's day;
Her fathers' faith she taught him,
Till the princess took him away.
He was taught in the schools of Egypt,
The best in the world then known;
But the ways his mother taught him,
He followed when he was grown.
He saw a brother mistreated
By a cruel Egyptian's hand;
In a rage he slew the despot,
Then he had to leave the land.
He fled and became a shepherd
For Jethro, the Median priest,
Who gave him his daughter, Zipporah
For wife, who bore him a son.
For forty years he was a shepherd,
A stranger in a strange land:
His character those years was shaped
To be humble, by God's hand.
One day while he tended the sheep
Near Horeb, the Mount of God,
He saw an everburning bush,
So nearer to it he trod.
From the fire came the voice of God,
That he was chosen to lead
The Israelites out of Egypt;
He felt unfit for the deed.
But God encouraged and forced him
That deed to fulfillment bring;
And He chose his brother Aaron
To speak for him to the king.
So Pharaoh they entreated
To let Israel depart;
But he just increased their hardship
For God had hardened his heart.
God let Pharaoh scourge His people;
But planned to end their plight;
And he hardened Pharaoh's heart
To prove on him His might,
Then God told Moses, His servant,
That he would strengthen his hand
To bring Israel out of bondage
Into the Promised Land."
That He would punish the land of Egypt
With plagues of horrible kind,
Till Pharaoh's will was broken
And to God's voice would mind.
Nine plagues were brought upon Egypt;
But Pharaoh's heart stayed hard,
Till all Egypt's first born were slain
Then he let Israel depart.
All Egypt in fear was trembling
When their firstborn were no more;
But Israel's children were saved
By the lamb's blood o'er the door,
For God told Moses to make the people
Mark the upper posts of their doors
With the blood of a blameless male lamb
When the death angel would pass o'er.
This passover Israel celebrates,
Forever, cach year again
To remind them how they were saved
When Egypt's firstborn were slain.
So Israel left from bondage
With gold, cattle and sheep,
Given to them by Egyptians,
Who were afraid them to keep.
On their way from Kadesh to Mount Hor,
For Canaan to him was denied,
Aaron was called up for burial,
So on Mount Hor he died,
The Canaanites attacked Israel
When they came near their land;
But Israel destroyed them all
With the help of God's hand,
The people spoke against God and Moses,
So God's patience was tried,
And He sent fiery serpents among them,
Then many of them died.
Moses made a serpent of brass
And on a pole had it raised,
As God told him, so the bitten ones
Who looked upon it were saved.
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
Refused Moses' demand,
To pass through their land, but Israel
Destroyed them and took their land.
Og, the king of Bashan, also
Israel passage denied;
So Israel smote them with the sword,
Og and all his people died.
When Israel came up to Moab,
Balak, their king, was afraid,
He called on Balaam to curse them,
So their advance would be stayed;
But God made Balaam bless Israel,
Then Balak was troubled worse;
For Balaam had to bless whom God would bless,
And curse only whom God would curse.
Some Israelites committed whoredom
With the Moabite women,
And bowed down to worship their gods;
This angered the Lord again.
He told Moses to punish the guilty
So He would not consume them all;
Then to slay the idolators,
Moses on the judges did call.
For adultery in Israel's camp,
Phinehas killed the Israelite,
Zimri, also the woman, Cozbi,
Who was a Midianite.
Handicapped from childhood on
With a dangerous disease,
But by her work in schooldays,
Success she did achieve.
Her temper and strong will
Brought her both loss and gain;
Often in her later years
She did her work 'mid pain.
While slowly she got weaker,
She still served as a nurse;
Bearing while serving patients,
A sickness that grew worse.
When death called her from duty
She fought with rolling eyes;
For days was in a coma,
Still clinging to dear life.
By grace her struggle ended,
Death came as s soothing balm;
When the last breath had let her
Her face showed a peaceful calm.
THE FRUITS OF THOUGHT
The thought is the father o the deed,
Whether it be good or bad;
The nature of the deed will be the fruit
Of the thinking we had.
Premeditated murder and all evil
Start in the heart and brain;
So do love and charity,
And all deeds that bring us gain.
We pollute our thinking with evil thoughts,
Our language with filthy words,
Our theatres and TVs with pornography
For all the world to hear and see.
We pollute our schools and cities with disorder.
Our air with smog and poisonous fumes,
Our water with wastes from cities and plants;
To clean up this mess should be our goal
To save the future or body and soul!
THE HORSE AND BUGGY DRIVE
The horse and buggy drive
To me again is alive,
As we drove, long years ago
To places to and fro.
By the road on either side,
Through the country far and wide,
Were scenes that you could view
As we slowly moved on through.
We saw each field o grain,
How it gained from recent rain
How the rain brought on the change
For good on the cattle range,
How the cattle were improving
By the yearly summer grazing.
The gopher's lie so free
From the road was there to see,
The meadowlark's cheerful song
Would greet us all along
From farmyards up and down,
Going to and from the town.
The drive gave peaceful rest,
For health it was the best.
BEFORE THE ENEMY'S LINES
In the Argonne fields where scarred trees grow
Upon the ridges high and low,
The "Ninety-First," well trained and true,
In the September sky so blue,
Attacked the enemy's lines.
The enemy's lines to shreds were blown
The night before with guns, our own;
And up above us in the sky,
We saw the scouting warplanes fly,
On from the hidden lines,
There in the woods like deadly pests,
Concealed were the machine gun nests,
Their rapid, deadly fire a few
Of fast advancing men then slew,
Who pressed the hidden lines.
Three days we strove through woods and wire
Against machine gun and shell fire;
And thus we fought through night and day,
On through the woods a hard-won way,
Against the hidden lines.
Then on September twenty-nine,
Many a pal of yours and mine,
When shells were falling thick and fast,
In fearful slaughter did his last;
But back went the enemy's lines.
I can't forget that awful day, The havoc great, and dreadful fray;
The singing, bursting, deadly shells,
The calls, "First aid," and shrieking yells,
Before the enemy's lines.
Then came the night to end the fight,
With rain and cold for change of plight;
While far away were mothers sighing
For those who now lay dead and dying
Before the enemy's lines,
Now those who fell, that day so hot,
Seem calling us, "Forget us not!"
And when long since they have been dead,
Within our hearts they shall live yet,
Before the enemy's lines!
At voting time they're coming around
To pay on all a call;
Till young and old and cats and dogs
Are tired of them all.
They come to speak in every town,
Of voters, far and near;
They talk of all the bliss delayed
And messes they would clear.
They ask us but to give our trust
And with our votes be true;
So they would have a chance to prove
How much good they could do.
They're going to fight for all the things
So helpful and so new;
Yet promise not to squander funds,
And lower taxes too.
We wonder if those promises,
And all this noise and fuss,
Will end up in deceitfulness,
Of something done to us.
Because Phinehas was zealous for God,
Israel was saved that day;
But twenty-four thousand had died,
Before the plague was kept away.
Moses numbered Israel in Moab,
Those that to battle could go
When they would enter the Promised land;
For God had ordered it so.
None of those that came out of Egypt
Were numbered in Moab;
For their unbelief they all had died,
Except Joshua and Caleb.
The land was to be allotted equally,
When they had taken Canaan,
Among the tribes according to their size,
An equal part to every man.
God told Moses to view the Promised Land
From the top of Mount Abarim;
Because he was not to enter therein,
For he once lost faith in Him.
Then Moses asked God to find a leader,
Able to lead the people
When he would be taken away,
Lest they would come to evil.
God told Moses to take Joshua
And lay his hands upon him
Before the people, so they would know
Joshua was to lead them.
So Moses gave Joshua a charge
And laid upon him his hands,
And authorized him to lead Israel
Into the Promised Land.
God gave Moses laws to rule Israel
From Sinai to the Promised Land;
These laws also ruled them in Canaan,
As God had given command.
God told Moses to avenge Israel
From the Midianite evil;
Moses took a thousand men armed for war
From each tribe of Israel.
Then they slew all the Midianites,
Save women who had not known men.
They took all the lifestock in the land,
And burned the cities therein.
The children of Gad and Reuben
Asked of Moses permission
To live with their families and cattle
On the east side of the Jordan.
Moses allowed them and half of Manasseh
To live on Jordan's east side,
When they promised to help take Canaan
On the river Jordan's west side.
God told Moses to give forty-eight cities
With suburbs to the Levites
In the conquered land of Canaan,
To be taken from the twelve tribes.
Six of these were cities of refuge,
For slayers in danger,
If they had killed someone unawares
And had to escape the avenger.
Moses foretold the coming of Christ,
Saying, when his end was near:
"God will raise up a prophet from among you
Like unto me, Him ye shall hear.
Moses encouraged the people
To go into the Promised Land; Drive out the nations and destroy their gods,
For this was God's command.
God told Moses to avenge Israel
From the Midianite evil;
Moses took a thousand men armed for war
From each tribe of Israel.
He warned not to commune with them,
Because of their false religion;
Lest they would forget their own true God
And bring on their destruction.
He told them to keep and obey God's laws
And teach them to their children
When they were in the Promised Land;
This would give them God's protection.
He warned them if they would not obey God,
They would be scourged by His hand,
And driven from the land they now enter
And scattered in every land.
Moses blessed the tribes of Israel,
Implying, "How lucky are you,
Israel, loved and protected by God,
There is no other race like you!"
Then he went up to Mount Nebo,
For God had prepared it so,
There he was shown the Promised Land;
Wherein he could not go.
There he died in the land of Moab,
And God laid him away
In a grave in a valley of Moab;
A grave unknown to this day.
There arose no other prophet since,
Whom God knew face to face;
This was the greatest lawgiver
Known to the human гасе.
This was the greatest leader
That ever was to be;
This was the noblest ruler
That mankind was to see.
God made him a humble shepherd
Before He called on him to lead;
For the humblest are the wisest
And trustworthy in deed.
He was hundred twenty years old at death,
Kept healthy by God's grace, His eye was not dim nor his strength lessened;
Israel mourned him thirty days.