POETRY
by Ethel Emily (Williams) Day ~ Group 4

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Prof. W.H. Day taught physics at OAC and was a respected expert on farm drainage.  Prior to the Depression, he left the university to drain the Holland Marsh, making Ethel into a farmerís wife, an occupation she had fervently hoped to avoid.  He died of a heart attack while working on the marsh. To support herself Ethel became a librarian.

 

 

THE VOICES OF THE TOWN

 

My heart is sick with longing for the voices of the town.

For the sound of hurrying footsteps speeding swiftly up and down,

For the clatter of the trolley as it rattles down the street 

And the clicking of the pavement Ďneath the horses hurrying feet.

Why, the bells and horns and whistles as the hour of noon came round

To my silence-haunted ears would be the sweetest kind of sound.

 

And its oh to see the city lights illumining the street.

And buildings standing close around, where human beings meet,

For Iím oh so tired of looking at the fields Ė so bare and white

Where the snow hides every living thing so far away from sight.

 

And Iím wearied of the country with its stillness and repose

With its everlasting sameness, where nothing comes or goes.

And the darkness is so eerie, as I listen in affright

To the owlís long mournful hooting in the stillness of the night.

And Iím longing, longing, longing just to see the town once more,

And listen with delighted ears to its rattle and its roar.

 

 

GOOD-NIGHT

 

Good-night, dear one, the dayís long toil is ended.

Once more to rest thy weary feet have wended;

Then sweetly sleep, nor dream of care and sorrow,

And wake refreshed upon the coming morrow.

       Good-night, dear one, good-night.

 

Good-night, dear one, lifeís pilgrimage is ended.

To Heavenly heights thy happy soul has wended.

Soon Iíll be free from this earthís toil and sorrow,

And then weíll meet in lifeís glad glorious morrow.

       Good-night, dear one, good-night.

MY IDEAL

 

He must be strong yet tender.

No other kind will do.

The weak oneís brave defender -

Just like you.

 

He must be pure and loyal,

He must be good and true,

With dignity so royal Ė

Just like you.

 

He must be slim and stately,

A handsome man to view,

And he must love me greatly, 

Just like you.

 

I had a vague ideal

Till you, dear love, I knew,

But now itís very real.

Itís just like you.

 

 

OUR TASTES

 

Mother reads her bible and such-like pious books.

The volume Evie studies is her darling Freddieís looks

And Stellaís found of poems, and stories and the rest,

While Amy loves the letters from her H.A.G. the best

Novels would be Ethelís choice, all full of love and war,

While deep and learned volumes are selected by Lenore.

His contempt for all such nonsense my father never veils,

He likes to read about the time when all mankind wore tails.

 

Mother likes to go to church and hear the preacher preach.

Evie likes to say at home and baby Millie teach.

With her back to fun and nonsense our Stella never stood,

While Amy leads prayer meetings and make the people good.

And Ethel, she could dance all night, her brains are in her toes,

While where things are calm and learned our wise Lenora goes.

But dad looks down on all these things and never, never fails

To tell us we were monkeys once, and wore long, curly tails.

 

In Heaven, mamma will stand and sing with a crown upon her head,

And Evie will be happy with her children and her Fred.

Stella will go totting round, her old-time friends to find,

While the beauty of the country will suit our Amyís mind

Ep will stand before a glass to admire her shining wings,

And Lenore will then discover the how and why of things.

But to make my father happy thereíll be one sight that avails,

The missing link between mankind and monkeys with their tails.

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