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He was a friend to man, and lived in a house by the side of the road. HOMERThere are hermit souls that live withdrawnIn the peace of their self-content;There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,In a fellowless firmament;There are pioneer souls that blaze their pathsWhere highways never ran;But let me live by the side of the roadAnd be a friend to man. Let me live in a house by the side of the road,Where the race of men go byThe men who are good and the men who are bad,As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorners seat,Or hurl the cynics ban;Let me live in a house by the side of the roadAnd be a friend to man. I see from my house by the side of the road,By the side of the highway of life,The men who press with the ardor of hope,The men who are faint with the strife. But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tearsBoth parts of an infinite plan;Let me live in my house by the side of the roadAnd be a friend to man. I know there are brook-gladdened meadows aheadAnd mountains of wearisome height;That the road passes on through the long afternoonAnd stretches away to the night. But still I rejoice when the travellers rejoice,And weep with the strangers that moan. Nor live in my house by the side of the roadLike a man who dwells alone. Let me live in my house by the side of the roadWhere the race of men go byThey are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,Wise, foolishso am I. Then why should I sit in the scorners seatOr hurl the cynics ban?Let me live in my house by the side of the roadAnd be a friend to man.

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Source Notes: Source: SAM WALTER FOSS, The House by the Side of the Road, Dreams in Homespun, pp. 1112 .

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Sam Walter Foss

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