The Day Is Done, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sidewalks of New York, Charles Lawlor and James Blake
Drop A Pebble in the Water, James Foley
Casey at the Bat, Ernest Lawrence Thayer
I Know Something Good About You, Louis Shimon
The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
Happiness, Priscilla Leonard
Mae West, Edward Field
Smile, Author unknown
The Man on the Flying Trapeze, George Leybourne


 
 
 

The Day Is Done
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist:
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be fill’d with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

 
 
 

Sidewalks of New York
by Charles Lawlor and James Blake

Down in front of Casey’s old brown wooden stoop,
On a summer’s evening we formed a merry group;
Boys and girls together we would sing and waltz
While the “Ginnie” played the organ
On the Sidewalks of New York.

That’s where Johnny Casey and little Jimmy Crowe
With Jakey Krause, the baker, who always had the dough;
Pretty Nellie Shannon with a dude as light as cork,
She first picked up the waltz step
On the Sidewalks of New York.

Things have changed since those times,
Some are up in “G”
Others they are wand’rers, but they all feel just like me
They’d part with all they’ve got, could they but once more walk
With their best girl and have a twirl
On the Sidewalks of New York.

East side, west side, all around the town,
The tots sang “Ring-a-Rosie,” “London Bridge is Falling Down.”
Boys and girls together, me and Mamie O’Rourke,
Tripped the light fantastic
On the sidewalks of New York.

 
 
 

Drop A Pebble in the Water
by James Foley

Drop a pebble in the water:
just a splash, and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,
flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling
where the end is going to be.

Drop a pebble in the water:
in a minute you forget,
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And those little waves a-flowing
to a great big wave have grown;
You’ve disturbed a mighty river
just by dropping in a stone.

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on.
They keep spreading, spreading, spreading
from the center as they go,
And there is no way to stop them,
once you’ve started them to flow.

Drop an unkind word, or careless:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s little waves a-flowing,
and there’s ripples circling yet,
And perhaps in some sad heart
a mighty wave of tears you’ve stirred,
And disturbed a life was happy
ere you dropped that unkind word.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
just a flash and it is gone;
But there’s half-a-hundred ripples
circling on and on and on,
Bearing hope and joy and comfort
on each splashing, dashing wave
Till you wouldn’t believe the volume
of the one kind word you gave.

Drop a word of cheer and kindness:
in a minute you forget;
But there’s gladness still a-swelling,
and there’s joy circling yet,
And you’ve rolled a wave of comfort
whose sweet music can be heard
Over miles and miles of water
just by dropping one kind word.

 
 
 

Casey at the Bat
by Ernest Lawrence Thayer

It looked extremely rocky for the Mudville nine that day;
The score stood two to four, with but an inning left to play,
So, when Cooney died at second, and Burrows did the same,
A pallor wreathed the features of the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go, leaving there the rest,
With that hope which springs eternal within the human breast.
For they thought: “If only Casey could get a whack at that,”
They’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.

But Flynn preceded Casey, as likewise so did Blake,
And the former was a pudd’n, and the latter was a fake.
So on that stricken multitude a deathlike silence sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey’s getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a “single,” to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much-despised Blakey, “tore the cover off the ball.”
And when the dust had lifted, and they saw what had occurred,
There was Blakey safe at second, and Flynn a-huggin’ third.

Then from the gladdened multitude went up a joyous yell–
It rumbled in the mountaintops, it rattled in the dell;
It struck upon the hillside and rebounded on the flat;
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place,
There was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile on Casey’s face;
And when responding to the cheers he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt ‘twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt,
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt;
Then when the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance glanced in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped;
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey. “Strike one!” the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.
“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone in the stand;
And it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey’s visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he made the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two!”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and the echo answered
“Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn’t let the ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey’s lip, his teeth are clenched in hate,
He pounds with cruel vengeance his bat upon the plate;
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright,
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light;
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout,
But there is no joy in Mudville: Mighty Casey has struck out.

 
 
 

I Know Something Good About You
by Louis Shimon

Wouldn’t this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say -
“I know something good about you !”
And treat us just that way ?

Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy
If each handclasp, fond and true,
Carried with it this assurance -
“I know something good about you !”

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only thing about us
That folks bothered to recall ?

Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see ?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me !

Wouldn’t it be nice to practice
That fine way of thinking, too ?
You know something good about me;
I know something good about you.

 
 
 

The Raven (excerpts)
by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, –
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow, –sorrow for the lost Lenore, –
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore, –
Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me, –filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, –
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;
This it is, and nothing more,”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you.” –Here I opened wide the door;
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, something louder than before:
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window-lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore, –
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore; –
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open then I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door –
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door, —
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven;
Ghastly grim, and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore,
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night’s Plutonian shore?”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore!”

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered, –not a feather then he fluttered, –
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before –
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore!”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore,
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore, –
Of Nevermore, –nevermore!”

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door,
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore –
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore –
Meant in croaking “Nevermore!”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o’er,
She shall press -ah! nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer,
Swung by seraphim, whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee, –by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite –respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, O, quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!’
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! –prophet still, if bird or devil!
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted, –
On this home by horror haunted, –tell me truly, I implore, –
Is there –is there balm in Gilead? –tell me – tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! –prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us, –by that God we both adore, –
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore
Clasp a fair and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting,
“Get thee back into the tempest and the night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! –quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!

 
 
 

Happiness
by Priscilla Leonard

Happiness is like a crystal,
Fair and exquisite and clear,
Broken in a million pieces,
Shattered, scattered far and near.
Now and then along life’s pathway,
Lo! some shining fragments fall;
But there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.

You may find a bit of beauty,
Or an honest share of wealth,
While another just beside you
Gathers honor, love or health.
Vain to choose or grasp unduly,
Broken is the perfect ball;
And there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.

Yet the wise as on they journey
Treasure every fragment clear,
Fit them as they may together,
Imaging the shattered sphere,
Learning ever to be thankful,
Though their share of it is small;
For it has so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.

 
 
 

Mae West
by Edward Field

You should get the text from another source.

 
 
 

Smile
(Author unknown)

Like a bread without the spreadin’.
Like a pudding’ without sauce,
Like a mattress without beddin’,
Like a cart without a hoss,
Like a door without a latchstring,
Like a fence without a stile,
Like a dry an’ barren creek bed –
Is the face without a smile.

Like a house without a dooryard,
Like a yard without a flower,
Like a clock without a mainspring,
That will never tell the hour;
A thing that sort o’ makes yo’ feel
A hunger all the while-
Oh, the saddest sight that ever was
Is a face without a smile!

The face of man was built for smiles,
An’ thereby he is blest
Above the critters of the field,
The birds an’ all the rest;
He’s just a little lower
Than the angels in the skies,
An’ the reason is that he can smile;
Therein his glory lies!

So smile an’ don’t forget to smile,
An’ smile, an’ smile ag’in
‘Twill help you all along the way,
An’ cheer you mile by mile;
An’ so, whatever is your lot,
Jes’ smile, an’ smile, an’ smile.

 
 
 

The Man on the Flying Trapeze
by George Leybourne

Once I was happy, but now I’m forlorn
Like an old coat, that is tattered and torn,
Left on this wide world to fret and to mourn,
Betrayed by a maid in her teens.
Oh, the girl that I loved she was handsome,
I tried all I knew her to please,
But I could not please her one quarter so well
As the man on the flying trapeze.

He would fly through the air
With the greatest of ease,
This daring young man
On the flying trapeze;
His movements were graceful,
All girls he could please,
And my love he purloined away.

Her father and mother were both on my side,
And very hard tried to make her my bride.
Her father he sighed, and her mother she cried,
To see her throw herself away.
‘Twas all no avail, she’d go there every night,
And throw him bouquets on the stage,
Which caused him to meet her; how he ran me down
To tell you would take a whole page.

One night I as usual called at her dear home,
Found there her father and mother alone.
I asked for my love, and soon they made known,
To my horror that she’d run away.
She’d packed up her goods and eloped in the night
With him with the greatest of ease;
From three stories high he had lowered her down
To the ground on his flying trapeze.

Some months after this I chanced in a hall,
Was greatly surprised to see on the wall
A bill in red letters that did my heart gall,
That she was appearing with him.
He’d taught her gymnastics and dressed her in tights,
To help him to live at his ease,
And made her assume a masculine name,
And now she goes on the trapeze.

She floats through the air
With the greatest of ease,
You’d think her a man
On the flying trapeze.
She does all the work
While he takes his ease,
And that’s what became of my love.