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The Glorious Fourth and Its Memories
by
Edwin Ranck


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Have you ever mused in silence upon a summer's day
   And let your thoughts run riot and your feelings have full sway,
As you sprawled full length upon the grass in some secluded dell
   And breathed the balmy country air, and smelt the country smell?

Then as you muse,
   And gently snooze,
Between thinks
   You remember those jinks
When spirits were high
    On the Fourth of July.

There was little Willie Browning, the worst of all the boys
   Who had a sure-nuff cannon that made all kinds of noise;
And when the cannon wouldn't go he blew into the muzzle,
   But what became of Willie's teeth has always been a puzzle.

How the folks looked askance
   At the seats of our pants,
When those giant skyrockets
   Went off in our pockets!
Gee whiz!
   What fun the Fourth is!

When the red-hot July sun began to wink the clouds away,
   We were out with whoops and shoutings to celebrate the day.
With piece of punk in one hand and crackers in the other,
   We would troop home later in the day for linseed oil and mother.

But our burns
   Were small concerns.
Our hearts were light,
   Injuries slight.
Not even a sigh
   On the Fourth of July.

And as you lie and ponder, the thought comes home to you
   That your youngest boy now celebrates the way you used to do;
And the mother that he bawls for to have those small wounds dressed
   Is the woman whom long years ago you swore you loved the best.

But what funny things
   Memory brings.
Who would have thought
   That I would be caught
With a tear in my eye
   On the Fourth of July.


This poem is in the public domain.

 


Edwin Carty Ranck (1879 - 1957) was born in in Lexington, Kentucky. His father was a writer and newspaper editor. After attending Harvard, Edwin followed in his father's footsteps and became a journalist, writing at one point for the New York Times.

 

 


Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
A fun read!
Posted 07/06/2021 11:56 AM
Jancan:
Love it!
Posted 07/05/2021 12:14 AM
paradea:
Yep!!!
Posted 07/04/2021 01:11 PM
KevinArnold:
Innovative lineation pushes against the reliability of rhyming couplets. Great.
Posted 07/04/2021 11:41 AM
Darrell Arnold:
Joyful, funny, and fun to read.
Posted 07/04/2021 09:24 AM


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