Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Sentiment: II. Life
“Keep sweet and keep movin’”
Robert Jones Burdette (1844–1914)
 
HOMELY phrase of our southland bright—
  Keep steady step to the flam of the drum;
Touch to the left—eyes to the right—
  Sing with the soul tho’ the lips be dumb.
Hard to be good when the wind ’s in the east;        5
  Hard to be gay when the heart is down;
When “they that trouble you are increased,”
  When you look for a smile and see a frown.
                But
      “Keep sweet and keep movin’.”        10
 
Sorrow will shade the blue sky gray—
  Gray is the color our brothers wore;
Sunshine will scatter the clouds away;
  Azure will gleam in the skies once more.
Colors of Patience and Hope are they—        15
  Always at even in one they blend;
Tinting the heavens by night and day,
  Over our hearts to the journey’s end.
                Just
      “Keep sweet and keep movin’.”        20
 
Hard to be sweet when the throng is dense,
  When elbows jostle and shoulders crowd;
Easy to give and to take offence
  When the touch is rough and the voice is loud;
“Keep to the right” in the city’s throng;        25
  “Divide the road” on the broad highway;
There ’s one way right when everything ’s wrong;
  “Easy and fair goes far in a day.”
                Just
      “Keep sweet and keep movin’.”        30
 
The quick taunt answers the hasty word—
  The lifetime chance for a “help” is missed;
The muddiest pool is a fountain stirred,
  A kind hand clenched makes an ugly fist.
When the nerves are tense and the mind is vexed,        35
  The spark lies close to the magazine;
Whisper a hope to the soul perplexed—
  Banish the fear with a smile serene—
                Just
      “Keep sweet and keep movin’.”        40
 
 
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