Poetry of Kansas

The Optimist.

His vision penetrates the gauze
      That hides the sham and the unreal,
And sees beyond the lines and laws
      That constitute the fair ideal ;
The clouds may darken all his days
      He knows they have a silver lining,
And that above earth's mists and haze
      The lamps of heaven still are shining.
He hears the word of faithful friend
      In tones of anger rudely spoken,
But quickly memory doth send
      To wounded heart love's old-time token
He does not waste a moment's time,
      Nor vex his soul in idle grieving,
But sings a merry little rhyme,
      And tastes the sweetness of forgiving.
Disease may throw him on a bed,
      And tackle lung and heart and liver
While he can lift his hand or head
      He blesses still the Mercy Giver
He says that sickness comes to rid
      Of poisons his law-breaking body,
And all the microbes In him hid
      Will fly before blue-mass and toddy.
Hard luck may strike him with her fist,
      And leave him prostrate, bruised and bleeding,
With little power to resist
      The cormorants upon him feeding
Yet from his lips escapes no curse,
      Nor does he blame his stars above him,
But says it might have been much worse,
      And thinks the fates will turn and love him.
His eyes look thru the uncouth dress
      And see the loyal heart beneath it
Tho thorn-crown on the brow doth press,
      There's only love for those who weave it
Tho by blind hate and vengeful ire
      The spikes thru hands and feet are driven,
Deep In the soul there's one desire--
      That this their crime may be forgiven.
He looks upon a world of sin
      Portrayed by venal, jaundiced journals--
Its scenes of blood, tumult, and din.
      As if were loose all hell's infernals;
He says these things must all needs be--
      Are pangs of a new world a-borning;
That soon the night away will flee,
      And then will dawn millenial morning.

__J. M. Cavaness.

Jayhawker Juleps
J. M. Cavaness
(Chanute: Tribune Pub. Co. 1913)
Pages 17-18

Kansas:  Poetry  History  Towns  Counties  Colleges  Libraries  Museums

June 19, 2004 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net
        Visit the Home Page for Kansas

        A service of the Kansas State Library