Short Stories
All Titles

In Association with Amazon.com

Home > Authors Index > Browse all available works of Edgar A. Guest > Text of Care-Free Youth

A poem by Edgar A. Guest

Care-Free Youth

Title:     Care-Free Youth
Author: Edgar A. Guest [More Titles by Guest]

The skies are blue and the sun is out and the
grass is green and soft
And the old charm's back in the apple tree
and it calls a boy aloft;
And the same low voice that the old don't hear,
but the care-free youngsters do,
Is calling them to the fields and streams and
the joys that once I knew.
And if youth be wild desire for play and care
is the mark of men,
Beneath the skin that Time has tanned I'm a
madcap youngster then.

Far richer than king with his crown of gold and
his heavy weight of care
Is the sunburned boy with his stone-bruised feet
and his tousled shock of hair;
For the king can hear but the cry of hate or the
sickly sound of praise,
And lost to him are the voices sweet that called
in his boyhood days.
Far better than ruler, with pomp and power
and riches, is it to be
The urchin gay in his tattered clothes that is
climbing the apple tree.

Oh, once I heard all the calls that come to the
quick, glad ears of boys,
And a certain spot on the river bank told me of
its many joys,
And certain fields and certain trees were loyal
friends to me,
And I knew the birds, and I owned a dog, and
we both could hear and see.
Oh, never from tongues of men have dropped
such messages wholly glad
As the things that live in the great outdoors
once told to a little lad.

And I'm sorry for him who cannot hear what
the tall trees have to say,
Who is deaf to the call of a running stream
and the lanes that lead to play.
The boy that shins up the faithful elm or
sprawls on a river bank
Is more richly blessed with the joys of life than
any old man of rank.
For youth is the golden time of life, and this
battered old heart of mine
Beats fast to the march of its old-time joys,
when the sun begins to shine.

[The end]
Edgar A. Guest's poem: Care-Free Youth