Sam Walter Foss

Sam Walter Foss Biography

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 ...

Sam Walter Foss Comments

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 05 March 2018

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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The 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There are hermit souls that live withdrawn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 road
And 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 and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Sam Walter Foss Popularity

Sam Walter Foss Popularity

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