Sam Walter Foss

(19 June 1858 - 26 February 1911 / the United States)

Sam Walter Foss
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Sam Walter Foss was a librarian and poet whose works included The House by the Side of the Road and The Coming American.

He was born in rural Candia, New Hampshire. Foss lost his mother at age four, worked on his father's farm and went to school in the winter. He graduated from Brown University in 1882, and would be considered illustrious enough to warrant having his name inscribed on the mace. Beginning in 1898, he served as librarian at the Somerville Public Library in Massachusetts. He married a minister's daughter, with whom he had a daughter and son. Foss used to write a poem a day for the newspapers, and his five volumes of collected poetry are of the frank and homely ... more »

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  • Dorothy Day ddotday@ameritech.net(10/21/2018 11:04:00 AM)

    Do you have information on the Sam Walter Foss poem, The Volunteer Organist? I see conflicting info on the dates - and confusion due to a ballad version written by Gray and Spaulding. Do you know which came first, and in which year Foss wrote (not necessarily published) it? Do you have any othe background info, different from Wikipedia?

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  • Julianna Riley(3/5/2018 3:51:00 PM)

    The House by the Side of the Road has been a favorite of mine for many years. As a lifelong observer of my fellow man, I find this poem a perfect description of what has drawn me to write stories about the foibles of humans.

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Best Poem of Sam Walter Foss

The House By The Side Of The Road

There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the ...

Read the full of The House By The Side Of The Road

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