xt7pg44hn35t https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7pg44hn35t/data/mets.xml Popham, William Lee, 1885- 1910  books b92-50-26953506 English s.n., : [Louisville, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Estes, Maude Miller. Love poems and the boyhood of Kentucky's poet  : being the life-story of William Lee Popham / by Maude Miller Estes. text Love poems and the boyhood of Kentucky's poet  : being the life-story of William Lee Popham / by Maude Miller Estes. 1910 2002 true xt7pg44hn35t section xt7pg44hn35t 
MAUDE MILLER ESTES,
     LOUISVILLE, KY.



            AUTHORESS
-tbe 23opboob of Uenturkp'o poet."

 




LOVE POEMS
         AND
  The Boyhood of
  Kentucky's Poet

         BEING
     The Life-Story
         OF
   WILLIAM LEE POPHAM





         BY



MAUDE MILLER ESTES

 












         COPYRIGHT, 1910,
                BY
      THE WORLD SUPPLY CO.




 Price, in Paper Binding, Fifty Cents.
In Extra Fine Cloth Binding, One Dollar.

         Order all Copies from
    THE WORLD SUPPLY CO.
           Louisville, Ky.


 















               ILLUSTRATIONS.



  Close your eyes and behold the pictures fairer than an
angel's dream; for no artist's painting can surpass the pictures
in Memory's gallery.

 


DEDICATION



TO EVERY OPTIMIST WHO BELIEVES
IN GIVING FLOWERS OF PRAISE TO
THE LIVING INSTEAD OF PLACING A
WREATH UPON THE GRAVE OF THE
                 DEAD
           THIS VOLUME IS
      RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED
                  BY
           THE AUTHORESS



               Comfort.

     There is never a cry in all the world
       But Jesus hears the weeping;
    There is never a child of woman's birth
       But the care of God is keeping;
    There is never a word in secret prayer
       But brings our blessings nearer;
    There is never a sorrow of human life
       But makes high heaven dearer.

    There is never a song of the nightingale
       But the joys of life it's voicing;
    There is never a spoken word of love
       But sets the heart rejoicing;
    There is never a cloud across the sky
       But somewhere the sun is shining;
    And let us think the clouds of life
       Will leave a silver lining.
                           -Popham.

 





PREFACE.



   In this volume it is the writer's desire to present in a "nut-
shell" a few of hundreds of Love Poems from the pen of
William Lee Popham, together with their author's biography.
   I do not attempt to write a full biography of my hero-but
give that which I think the world-should know of his sweet
boyhood and inspired manhood.
   His simple, loving, consecrated thoughts in verse and prose
have inspired me to this attempt.
   It is with the poet's full consent that I write his biograph-
ical sketch, together with his poems used exclusively herein.
   No man ever gave to the world sweeter thoughts of higher
endeavor than William Lee Popham, of whom I write. The
poet is yet unborn who can excel him in painting mind-
pictures in natural simplicity, beauty and clearness of thought.
   Herein is presented the poet's first poem, entitled: "The
Babbling Brook," in which it is plain that love inspired his
pen. In this poem the reader can see the boy-poet as he sat
on that "moss-covered rock" and wrote verse to his little
sweetheart. One can see the love-light in his eyes when he
"mailed" the poem, together with a rose or bunch of sweet
violets in the "hollow stump" by the brook. Let your fancy

 

picture the "golden-haired" lassie when she went to the
"hollow stump post office" and received the flowers and verse
placed there by her poet-lover. The reader will also, find
herein, a poem written in the poet's manhood-written of the
memories of this same little girl. In this poem, entitled, "My
First Sweetheart," is enough of sweetness to lure the bees from
every blooming flower. May all who read this brief biograph-
ical sketch of the boyhood of Kentucky's poet and his love
poems herewith, feel the same inspiration of which this vol-
time is born.
                    Very truly yours,
                           MAUDE MILLER ESTES.


 
EVANGELIST, AUTHOR, LECTURER AND POET.



WILLIAM LEE POPHAM.



7q

 This page in the original text is blank.


 



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finely bound in beautiful cloth, and sells in the best binding
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           CONTENTS.
Turn to the pages and pick the kernels out.


 








   WILLIAM LEE POPHAM'S BOOKS


   SILVER GEMS IN SEAS OF GOLD
   POEMS OF TRUTH, LOVE AND POWER
   NUTSHELLS OF TRUTH
   THE VALLEY OF LOVE
   SHE DARED TO WIN
   LOVE'S RAINBOW DREAM
   THE VILLAGE BY THE SEA
   A TRAMP'S LOVE
   The above-mentioned series of eight books are fully de-
scribe(l on pages 85 to 89 of this book.
  Read on pages 90-92 how to get the above books free.
  Order all books from The World Supply Co., Louisville, Ky.

 This page in the original text is blank.


 






type Aotboob of               tentucthp' poet



   William Lee Popharn, Kentucky's "world poet," was born
April 14, 1885, in IHardin Co., Kentucky. After a common
school edtucation at the "log schoolhouse" amid the fields near
lis birthplace, he entered East Lynn College in his early
"teens." After an unfinished college career, he returned to
his country home full of ambition to see the world, and per-
suaded his parents to move to Louisville, Ky.
   In his early teens, the poet, with his parents, one brother
and two sisters, moved to Kentucky's metropolis, where the
poet continued to study under private teachers and self-help.
   At age seventeen he began his American lecture tour and
at once won titles as "The boy orator," and "The youngest
lecturer in the world."
   He attracted large crowds in cities and hamlets; and wrote
his first book at age eighteen.
   His first book voiced his noble sentiments and high en-
deavor for humanity's good; but in boyhood style and simple
manner.
   He is now the author of eight more books and is still writ-
ing new ones.

 


   Below the hill upon which nestled the poet's childhood
home, flowed a cool, babbling spring which in its winding
revel, sang its way thru the vale of wild flowers and green
pasture.
   It was by the shady banks of this brook where the poet
often wandered when but a child; and those who knew not his
heart's impulse and his golden future thought him an idle
wanderer; but be it far from idleness.
   It was amid such environments where his poems of to-day
were born in his soul of nature-and therein had been sleeping
along the trail of the kindly years. By this clear brook there
was a large moss-covered rock upon which the "boy poet" sat
and wrote love-poems to his "girl-sweetheart ;" and nearby
was a hollow stump which was his post office, where he
"mailed" many a bunch of violets with poetic presentation in-
scribed upon the paper that wrapped their tender stems. In
this valley were wild roses, forget-me-nots, daisies, violets,
ferns and cool green vines that hugged the bosom of the trees
and giant rocks. Toward the West was a steep hillside be-
decked with white oaks, maples, and sugar trees-with a
growth of green amid the queerly shaped rocks. Toward the
East spread a gentle, sloping hill of less steepness, where white
oaks were numerous; and beneath their stately shade, was a
green carpet of bluegrass spotted with wild roses and dog-
wood saplings. Northward, far across the valley, stood an
orchard of apple, peach, pear, and plum trees which covered
about one hundred acres of lawn and clover.
                             2

 

   In the cornfield, while the tired horse rested in the shade,
the "plowboy poet" would sit and write verse; and each sum-
mer added largely to his boyhood writing.
   It was often the young poet's duty to "shepherd the sheep"
in the shady pasture-and this quiet environment gave oppor-
tunity for expression of thought. He delighted to see the
lambs play-and it was the inspiration from their glee that
caused their shepherd to write "The Frolicing Innocent
Lambs." It is said by some that the boy-poet's association
with the sheep and his care for the helpless lambs was largely
influential in establishing his boyhood gentleness; for a shepherd's
life is gentle and his flocks are the most harmless of stock. Many
were the poems by the shepherd boy; but few were the per-
sons who heard or read them-for it was the young author's
quiet pleasure to write-secluding his manuscripts from the
public.
   No record is had of the number of poems written during the
poet's boyhood; but few are left of his early poems, many
having been destroyed by their author as he would write better
ones from time to time.
   And real poets seldom are able to rewrite lost verse; for
poetic thought is a flash of inspiration-the same thoughts,
perhaps, never to be written by the same author again.
   Lost poems like each yesterday lost in the past, can not
be recalled.



3

 

   A lost poem is like a fresh flower thrown upon the cold
bosom of the stream; it is seldom rescued-and if at all, the
fragrance is lost-for 'tis only a withered flower.
   The world is yet to see the full fruit of our hero's man-
hood; for already the bud of boyhood and the blossom of
young manhood have given to the world a small library within
itself; and after a healthy bud and a full blossom comes ma-
ture fruit.
   In springtime after his "work hours," the boy-poet would stroll
in his father's massive orchard where the tree tops were full
of white and colored blossoms-where the air was fragrant
amid Nature's paradise. He delighted to find the nests of
birds and watch the mated lives; but never would he disturb
their peace. Their song filled his young heart and his pen
flowed as freely as their song.
   In winter when the earth lay beneath a coverlid of snow,
he would throw out crumbs of bread to the hungry birds-
and they soon learned that he meant not to harm but help
them. The horses and dogs and cows on the farm were "pets"
when near the young poet; for each knew his gentleness.
   The cottage in which our hero was born was a plain four.
room wood structure, and in the front yard amid other trees,
were two tall cedars. Each year the jays and other birds
made their nests near the cottage door, over which clung green
vines that blossomed in season.
   While our hero was much alone in his childhood, he never
failed to receive "a mother's good-night kiss" while she knelt

                             4

 

by an old-fashioned trundle-bed where the boy dreamed and
slept away the still nights.
   It seem to have been the providence of a kind God that his boy-
hood was spent away from the wicked city and the noisy
streets.
   In the woodland dells, the open fields and amid the God-
built hills, were his youthful highways; and nature and heaven
alone taught him howv to use his pen. God is always in the
training of every benefactor of the human race. It is not
strange that God raised a "world-poet" from "blackberry
fields," for to get His twelve diciples He went along the sea-
shore and gathered humble fishermen-the lowly of earth.
   Sometimes from the "smallest" God chooses the "great-
est," but never does the all-wise Creator go among the "haughty
proud" for useful men to establish His kingdom upon earth.
   On the farm the young poet "fought in war with bees and
flies" and was fond of romps amid the sweet clover blossoms.
   He loved children, but seldom stayed where they were
except to care for his younger brother or sister while his
mother busied herself in domestic duty.
   The only "chum" of the boy-poet was his brother who is
now one of the leading lawyers at the Louisville bar.
   It befell the "brothers" to feed the stock, carry the water,
cut the "stove wood" and other things with which only "coun-
try boys" are familiar. The only "fights" the boy-poet had
were "in defense" of his younger brother, and the boy who



5

 chose to "over-ride" him had the poet to "whip" then and there.
Like other children, many were the times when the youthful brothers sought the orchard and spent the summer hours in picking wild strawberries and chasing young rabbits. Then "the green apple dinner" was a "favorite banquet" spread upon God's table-cloth of green grass beneath an apple tree.
The poet's father was a fruit grower, farmer, nurseryman and country merchant, and had no poetic talent or unusual intellectual gift.
The poet's father was a school-teacher ere his business career.
The poet's mother while uneducated, was a gentle, kind and dutiful wife and mother. The poet has blue eyes, full of expression, love, and gentleness. He is a medium-size man, possesses a voice of melodywhich at will becomes eloquent and commanding. He inherited his ability as an orator from his mother's people, but as far back as can be traced, heredity does not claim his poetic gift. This gift is born of heaven in his own soul. His expression of poetic sentiment is natural as a mother's love for her childa rare gift from the holy God. He finds congenial company in solitude, for the bird's song, the wind's whisper and the brooklet's babble are music in response to his soul's longing. His sentiments of love, expressed in almost every page he writes, are sacred, tender and impressive. His writings have a distant similarity to the works of some of our ancient poets, yet possess an originality
6


 


wholly his own. His word-painting is hard to excel, and his
thoughts on love are ever inspiring.
   His unmarried manhood is happy as was his blissful boy-.
hood, and his road is a path of sunbeams. Yet the poet has
said, "Not for all of the world's silver and gold would I go
thri life without a sweet woman to share my love and happi-
ness."
   He seems to never worry; but lives to disperse his sunshine in-
to sunless lives. His poems have not appeared in miscellaneous
publications like some poems of old-a strict copyright being the
reason. Tho' possessing an unselfish spirit, it has been his desire
to only permit a limited circulation of many poems-always prom-
ising himself verses near perfection in the future issues. How-
ever, his works are accepted by one of the greatest publishing
houses in New York City on liberal royalty.
   Places and names of persons are unnamed in his poems.
   He is the people's poet. To read his poems is to know his
heart and feel his thrills.
   Yet he says of himself: "No one knows me but God." Doubt-
less, in his heart there are unborn ideas and unspoken love; yet his
readers feel that they know him-even the thousands who
have seen his face only in the print of his picture.
   He cultivates the acquaintance of but few personal friends;
but h-is praises are sung by admiring friends wherever he is
known. His personality and kindly feeling for humanity wins
new friends wherever he goes; for he is welcome as the May-
time flowers. He delights to praise friends upon their merit;



7

 

but is honest with all, and never flatters. He is so sympa-
thetic with every human need that his verse finds a home in
warm hearts; and those who know him best are unwilling to see
him go. To know that his daily and hourly life is a practice of
his sermons in verse, prose, and pulpit is to appreciate, ad-
mire and love him.
   The tenderness in his verse often brings tears-but the
very tears are sweet. His poems touch every phase of life,
and to read them is to feel the heart throb and hear the bird sing,
the brook babble, and lovers coo. The sloping hills and
quiet valleys bordering the humble cottage of his birthplace,
were the scenes of his ramble in boyhood. He sought the soli-
tude of the woodland and spent a quiet boyhood close to na-
ture. Unlike other boys of his age, he was tender, kind and
affectionate to all. Hle would not rob a bird's nest, kill a frog
or harm a garden rose.
   It is said that once when he found some boys stoning birds,
that he persuaded them to "harm not the defenseless birds
that sing their lives away to make us happy," and speaking
thusly, the poet tenderly lifted the wounded sparrow to his
lips and with a tearful kiss, placed it upon a leafy bower and
looking heavenward said: "Thou who notes the fallen spar-
row, heal and protect this innocent bird." This was such a
rebuke to the rough boys that they were never known to harm
another innocent life. The poet is tender and loving as a
good woman; and gentle like the Savior whom he often confesses,
and whose saving grace he preaches to lost humanity. A



8

 

bleeding heart brings his flow of tears-and a sweet poem to
console the sufferer. His lowest endeavor is to be pure and
do good; and his life, words, verse, and literature are simple
and sweet as childhood.
   He knows human nature as he knows the alphabet; and
every word from his pen is human.
   Hle knows how to console, cheer, and inspire; and this he
dloes with natural ease. No congenial person can be with him
mich without being better and sweeter spirited.
   Tho' he is only about twenty-five years old he has written
more and spoken more than some of our ancient poets had
accomplished in a long lifetime.
   His name will go down in fadeless ink upon history's pages
as the "world-poet."
   And such title shall be his, because sympathy makes the
wdvhole world kin, because human nature is the same the world
over; and hence his poems shall be read internationally-in as
mvuch as our poet's verse is replete with these charms-so
lear to the human heart.
   His past achievement, be it ever so humble, is a promise
of this prediction.
   It is not expected that the stars of international fame shall
presently adorn his crown, for how many of our now famous
poets, who acquired such fame at age twenty-five
   The poems of some of the greatest poets in history were
rejected and unrecognized at their first public appearance.
   The writer of the now famous hymn entitled: "In the
Sweet Bye and Bye," was refused a penny for his master-
piece-and after several failures, a friend gave him twenty
dollars for the composition "just to help him along." Since,
this hymn has brought its owner a royalty of thousands of
dollars.
   Millions yet unborn will sing the praises of Kentucky's



9

 

poet and catch the inspiration of his pen. HIe is truly human-
ity's friend and an expounder of God's holy love. The green
blades of grass to him, are flowers; and the meanest bud that
promises a blossom amid the thorns, does not to him, "blush
unseen" or unappreciated. He is a staunch defender of the
home; and "home happiness" is his earnest plea. The poet's
grace and peace are born of the "Prince of Peace;" and his
love for flowers is a living spark from the Man of Galilee who
said in Matthew 6: 28: "Consider the lilies."
   Above all he is an optimist; a living ray of sunshine. a
kindling spark of inspiration to those who know him best. He
is an advocate of innocent laughter, and says, "Laughter, care-
tul diet, peace, health-thought and fresh air will cure nearly
every human ill."
   Whether preaching gospel sermons, lecturing, writing
prose or poetry, he is happy, lighthearted and cheerful. This
sketch is far less than a complete biography of this immortal
poet-soul; for this space is too limited to tell his life-story.
   And be it understood by the reader, that the writer's aim is
to say only the "good things"-leaving unsaid, or for others to
say-the "bad things" (and doubtless they be) in the life of
our poet. Flowers and kind words of praise should be for the
living-not the dead. History will honor his name after he
is dead; let us do him honor while he lives.
   My loftiest praises of our poet, do not "kiss the sky," nor
do I aim to soar so high in the "blue fields above" as to pluck
the stars to get diadems for his crown. Be my mission far
from such. But the flowers I mean to display at his grave,
will have blossomed along his pathway.
   It is American custom to "forget" a man's "badness" at
his death, and the "funeral-preacher" and newspapers say
"loving words" of the deceased-and often the praise is the
second cousin to a "white lie."



10

 That our poet has many admirers of his verse, we cannot doubt; that there are sarcastic critics of his verse, there is no doubt. Yet be it said in truthfulness, that the former class outnumbers the latter.
Critics are numbered from the man who "does  something," not from the man with "folded hands."
Jesus Christ, the only perfect man, met with opposition, even unto death. By many His works were scorned, rejected and branded as false. Even today in this Christian age, there are many who do not acknowledge Him as the world's Redeemer and the door to heaven.
Then if the Savior, the Son of God, failed to please "everybody," it would be worse than folly for the humble writer to expect all readers of our poet's praise, to agree with her opinionor to say that his poems are "perfect."
But William Lee Popham's "imperfect poems" do possess a sweetness which many true hearts enjoy, and his boyhood years, close to Nature's heart, were not without their charms.
I do not desire to be understood as saying that either the boyhood or manhood of our poet is "ideal." Angels do not populate this earth, and indeed human vision is often dim. "Xow we see through a glass darkly."
"To err is human; to forgive is divine" is an adage worth remembering.
Our poet is "guilty" of having "slipped" away from the school room with other boys, to the "swimming pool," and he "confesses" to having received "the peachtree tea" applied to his back for the "offense."
That these "baths" occurred too often there is no doubt; and that his "love for the water" and "hate for school" accounts for what he "does not know," we will not question.
By his boyhood playmates, I am told that "once upon a time" our poet's favorite passtime was in "sliding down the
11


 


bank" of a steep gully in his father's meadow. But from the
story of the holes then in the seat of his cottonade trousers, I
do not know whether to attribute the "holes" to his coming
in contact with the "gully bank"or a "pine plank" il his
father's hand.
   In talking with one of our poet's school teachers who held
the "log school-house sessions of knowledge," I find that
"Willie" was not the best boy in the world. Many were the
days when "Willie's conduct" necessitated the use of a "dog-
wood limb ;" and one day in vain did he put a "pie pan" in the
seat of his trousers and a jeans coat beneath his shirt. As a
penalty for folly such as "shooting chewed paper wads" and
"placing bent pins with point upward, upon the seat," the
country school teacher would make the guilty but "bashful
lad, sit in the lap of a "grown-up" girl.
   But this "punishment" proved too pleasant to "Willie"-
for wooing was the young poet's "besetting sin." So the "pen-
alty" was changed. The poet still remembers the times (al-
most countless) when he had to "stand on one foot and face
the black board" for writing "love verse" to a certain girl in
"time of books."
   Almost daily the boy-poet would bring a large ripe apple
for his "girl schoolmate," and about as numerous were his
verse presentations.
   The teacher tried to keep an eye upon "note passing"-
but one might as well try to keep the sunshine from an open
field.
   With no little effort, I have secured a copy of a verse
written in the school room by the boy-poet to a little girl
who is now a happy mother and a glad reader of our poet's
pen.
   The morning on which this poem was written, the poet
had placed an apple (the coat of which being a color of red
                            12

 

and gold) behind his sweetheart's basket by the schoolhouse
door.
   She was a girl possessing red lips and golden hair-and
the reader will note in the verse, the comparison of same to
the apple colors. The sarcastic "nickname" of the teacher was
"Boss" which some "offenders" gladly used.
   The verse follows:

         When at this note you look
         Pretend to read your book;
         For "Boss" can hear a kitten tread-
         And see from the back of his head.
         This note, be careful where you put,
         For I tire of standing on a foot.
         I love you more than I can spell
         And better than my tongue can tell.
         Behind your basket on the floor
         You'll find an apple by the door;
         And its coat of gold and red
         Is like your lips and golden head.

   The only "perfection" of the foregoing verse is the rhyme;
and doubtless if our poet could rewrite the verse of "the long
yesterday," with his pen of today, he would say "golden hair"
instead of "golden head"-besides other changes.
   But if nothing more, the foregoing "boyhood verse" is
amusing, and denotes natural poetic talent.
   The verse of the foregoing comment, was written near as
I can learn, in the eleventh year of its author.
  The writer of these lines does not pose as a critic, but she ven-
tures to state that the rhyme of Kentucky's poet is absolutely per-
fect, and nowhere in all his works can be found a near rhvme.
This is not so in the works of some of our celebrated poets. for

                            13

 

from their pen we find near rhymes such as "home and come,"
"love and move," "heaven and given," and others.
    Neither is a poet licensed to mispronounce a word to make a
rhyme, such as "eternity with thee."
   This is also found in the works of some of our celebrated
ancient poets.
   In this biographical sketch it is but fitting that I should quote
the opinion of others in their praise of Kentucky's poet. Hun-
dreds of newspapers from ocean to ocean have reviewed his poems,
and it is a rare "exception to the rule" when comments have been
given other than of praise to both his verse and platform lec-
tures. Among hundreds of press compliments, space only permits
the following:
                        KENTUCKY.
   The Rev. William Lee Popham, author, poet and lecturer, of
Louisville, is the author of "Poems of Truth, Love and Power."
The volume is replete with the lover's wooing, life's sunshine and
shadows and the whispers of the wind.
   This is the young author's eighth book.
   The Rev. Mr. Popham was born in 1885 on a Kentucky farm,
and in his poems the birds sing and the brooklets babble in the
land of a poet's dream.-Louisville Times.
   He sees the bright side of life.-Central Methodist, Lex-
ington.
   He is a finished orator. His address was regarded as a gem
of the first water. His work has been much praised, especially
by the religious press.
   They listened to him as if they were spell-bound. .
His address was sparkling with genuine oratory.-Louisville
Herald.
   He has achieved considerable success on the lecture platform.
-Baptist Argus. (Now the Baptist World.)
   His lecture here was a prose poem of sublimest eloquence.-
Hopkinsville Kentuckian.



14

 

   He is a lecturer of considerable fame.-Farmer's Home
Journal.
   Greeted by thousands.-Daily Gleaner, Henderson.
   Many of his poems contain touching and beautiful sentiments.
-Christian Observer, Louisville.
                       NEW YORK.
   His poetry is of matchless simplicity and appeals to the bet--
ter nature of man. It is affectionate, romantic and dreamy. His
sentiment kisses the beauty-land of flowers, love, womanhood,
music and art.-Broadway Publishing Co., New York City.
                         FLORIDA.
   The Kentucky poet and lecturer is regarded as one of the
South's most eloquent orators.-The Evening Metropolis, Jack-
sonville.
   For more than an hour the orator and poet swayed his audi-
ence from tears to smiles.-The True Democrat, Tallahassee.
                        GEORGIA.
   The silver-tongue orator lectured here to the delight of a bril-
liant audience. While he is a minister of the gospel, his lectures
and writings are non-sectarian. He is a great drawing card.
His language is flowery, his voice is strong and eloquent, and his
thought is of the greatest degree of simplicity.-Daily Times,
Valdosta.
                        ALABAMA.
   As a lecturer, he commands an easy flow of eloquence. As a
poet, he is a child of nature. A self-made man.-Daily Siftings,
Dothan.
                          IOWA.
   He is popular, and has made a splendid record.-Highland
Nobles Herald, Des Moines.    (Now   the American Noble,
Waterloo.)
                          OHIO.
   His poems are original and complete.-The Springfield Daily
Republican.



15

 



                       MICHIGAN.
   He is an orator who sways his audience at will.-Daily Star,
Niles.
   He is not only an orator, lecturer and poet, but is author of
many books. A man of ability and many distinctions.-Daily
Tribune, South Haven.
                       INDIANA.
   Noted orator greeted by large crowds. Lectures are popular.
-Daily Herald, Madison.
   Beautiful sentiments - flowery eloquence. - Daily Review,
Greensburg.
                     NEW   JERSEY.
   At his lofty strain, we bare our heads in silent admiration.-
Newark Evening News.
                   MASSACHUSETTS.
   He has come up from a choreboy and plowboy on a Kentucky
farm to a writer of tuneful verse. People who are stirred by the
baby's smile, the mother's croon, the wind in the trees and the
melody of the birds will read with pleasure, the chimes in
"Poems of Truth, Love and Power."-The Boston Globe.
   The writer has secured and quotes hereafter one of the
first poems ever published from William Lee Popham's pen-
said to have been published in the early teens of the boy-poet.
Critics have pronounced it almost perfect-and remarkable for
only a boy. Conflicting stories are told of the poet's first woo-
ing; but safe to say, he was a lover in the bud of childhood.
Throughout the wording and between the lines of this poem,
you will stroll with its author along the "meadow-brook" near
his childhood home, and feel the beats of a lover's heart locked
within a boy's bosom. May its noble thrills inspire our modern
youth to purer sentiments of love-and bless millions yet
unborn.



16

 






THE BABBLING BROOK.



When the school is out
   I like to come and play-
In the "meadow-brook"
   Near the close of day.
The floating clouds above
   Are lined with heaven's blue-
With the ruby light
   And sunbeams peeping thru.


I like to see the minnows
   Playing in the brook-
Fleeing from my hand
   That even dodge my look.
But if they only knew
   That I'd do no harm-
They would surely be
   Freer from alarm.


If I were a minnow
   In this tiny stream,
I'd seek the ocean-
  There to swim and dream:
For the world is big;
  And the massive sea
Would be a pretty home,
  And to it I would flee.



11

 



I like to see the flowers
   By the brooklet's bank;
And he who loves them not
   Is a sour crank.
And when I put the violets
   In the "hollow stump"
For my pretty sweetheart
   My throat contains a lump.



But when I see her fingers
   Clasp the violet bower
My heart is full of praise
   For every tender flower.
And when she reads the poems
   I write here by the moss
This vale is full of beauty
   And life's without a cross.


I like to see the cattle
   As they creep and graze;
For I could linger here
   By the brook for days.
And the little lambs
  That frolic on the lawn
Would like for me to stay
  From dewy eve till dawn.

              12

 

The roses seem to say,
   Take me to your breast;
And all they have to do
   Is to bloom and rest.
If I were a rose,
   I'd seek a place more fair;
For I'd make my home
   In my sweetheart's hair.


If I were a bird,
   I would never fly
From a noble boy
   And make him want to cry.
For I wouldn't hurt
   The pretty little things;
I'd only hug them
   On their folded wings.



If I were a bird
   I would sing and sing
To any boy or girl
  Who their crumbs would bring.
But there're cruel boys
  Who delight to throw
At the little things
  No matter where they