by Edgar Albert Guest
When winter shuts a fellow in and turns the lock upon his door,
There's nothing else for him to do but sit and dream his bygones o'er.
And then before an open fire he smokes his pipe, while in the blaze
He seems to see a picture show of all his happy yesterdays.
No ordinary film is that which memory throws upon the screen,
But one in which his hidden soul comes out and can be plainly seen.
Now, I've been dreaming by the grate. I've seen myself the way I am,
Stripped bare of affectation's garb and wisdom's pose and folly's sham.
I've seen my soul and talked with it, and learned some things I never
I walk about the world as one, but I express the wish of two.
I've come to see the soul of me is wiser than my selfish mind,
For it has safely led me through the tangled paths I've left behind.
I should have sold myself for gold when I was young long years ago,
But for my soul which whispered then: "You love your home and garden so,
You never could be quite content in palace walls. Once rise to fame
And you will lose the gentler joys which now so eagerly you claim.
I want to walk these lanes with you and keep the comradeship of trees,
Let you and I be happy here, nor seek life's gaudy luxuries."
Mine is a curious soul, I guess; it seemed so, smiling in my dreams;
It keeps me close to little folks and birds and flowers and running
To Mother and her friends and mine; and though no fortune we possess,
The years that we have lived and loved have all been rich with happiness.
I'm glad the snowdrifts shut me in, for I have had a chance to see
How fortunate I've been to have that sort of soul to counsel me.
Last updated January 14, 2019