Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Morning Poem

The Calf Path

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crook trail, as all calves do.

Since then 300 years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And therby hangs my moral tail.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bell-weather sheep
Persued the trail o'er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-weathers always do.
And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about
And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because 'twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed-- do not laugh--
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again;
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trode the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o'er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established president.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,

And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course persue,
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! Many things this tale might teach--
But I am not ordained to preach.

-Sam Walter Foss


Paige said...

I love it! Definitely brought a smile to my face!

Anonymous said...


Paige said...

Kristin! I just wanted to let you know about a great heirloom seed company that I found out about from Julie's blog (TNFullQuiver). Heirloom Acres! They have a lot of the varieties that they talk about in Back to Basics and you can save your own seeds if you want! I looked around and was pretty impressed!

Kristin said...

Thank you Paige! I tried commenting on your blog earlier but the internet wouldn't let me for some reason. :( Boo.

I'm starting to get a gardening "itch" and I think I may try one small raised bed garden... We'll see...

Paige said...

Oh definitely! And we always mulched using our extra grass clippings, too. you can wait longer to mow, and it makes more clippings to mulch with. You'll never try regular row gardening again! I wish I had a'll have to plant something for me!