Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 078

ROOFS

A gypsy-man will sleep in his cart with canvas overhead,
Or else he'll go into his tent when it is time for bed.
He'll sit on the grass and take his ease so long as the sun is high,
But when it is dark, he wants a roof to keep away the sky.

If you call a gypsy a vagabond, I think you do him wrong,
For he never goes a-traveling but he takes his home along. And the only reason a road is good, as every wanderer knows, Is just because of the homes, the homes, the homes to which it goes.

They say that life is a highway and its milestones are the years,
And now and then there's a tollgate where you buy your way with tears.
It's a rough road and a steep road, and it stretches broad and far,
But at last it leads to a Golden Town where Golden Houses are.

NOTES AND QUESTIONS
Biography
. Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918), an American poet, was born in New Brunswick, N. J., and educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University. He was a member of the staff of the New York Times, and editor of poetry for The Literary Digest. Deeply moved by Germany's challenge to humanity, he enlisted seventeen days after the United States declared war, and was killed in the battle of the Marne. Though he died so young, he had written many beautiful poems. Among his published works are: Trees and Other Poems, Literature in the Making, and Main Street and Other Poems, from which "Roofs" is taken.
Discussion. 1. What preference for home does the poet express in the first stanza? 2. The poet thinks the gypsy is not a vagabond;

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