The Logan Turnpike

•April 29, 2010 • 1 Comment

by Charles W. Cook

The turnpike was a treacherous road
   Through Union County land;
The horse-drawn wagon made its bid
   To test the skills of man.

Across the Blue Ridge mountain crest
   They rode toward Cleveland town;
Some trees were cut to drag behind,
   To slow the wagons down.

The mountains farmers hauled their crops
   To sell along the way;
They camped beside a gentle stream
   For rest at end of day.

About four days to Gainesville’s view,
   Where stores stocked vital goods;
A campsite was their dwelling place
   Beneath the shady woods.

They bartered with the merchants there,
   For sugar, salt and flour;
New shoes were bought for everyone
   Before the closing hour.

Strong rope and nails and lantern oil,
   New pots and pans for cooking;
The ladies found new hats and coats,
   To make them better looking.

Steel horshoes and woodworking tools,
   Some turpentine and wire;
Warm union suits and woolen socks,
   And matches for a fire.

The little folks got chocolate drops,
   And others shiny toys;
Young girls would find some sweet perfume,
   And hair oil for the boys.

The journey o’er the mountain ridge
   Was such an awesome chore;
The long and bumpy tiring ride,
   Could last a week or more.

The Logan Turnpike it was called,
   Where mountain breezes blow;
The pioneers endured their task,
   Where sparkling waters flow.

The Song of the Chattahoochee

•April 29, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When I was a boy in school at Conley Hills Elementary, I had to memorize this famous poem. It has been one of my favorites ever since.

The Song of the Chattahoochee
by Sidney Lanier

Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover’s pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham,
All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried Abide, abide,
The wilful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said Stay,
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed Abide, abide,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall
.

High o’er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, Pass not, so cold, these manifold
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall
.

And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone
-Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet, and amethyst-
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call-
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o’er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.

Now That Spring Is Here

•April 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Spring dogwood blooms
Now that the year’s advanced to Spring
And leaves grow large and long
Forget each sorry and rueful thing
Hearing the wild bird’s song.

Spring flowers

The leaf will fall, the bird will fly
And winter close the year,
But O, put all such knowledge by
Now that Spring is here

Poem by Byron Herbert Reece

Winter is dead

•April 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Daffodowndilly by A. A. Milne

Poem by A. A. Milne