Monday, May 12, 2014

"My Anarchist Boarder" by Sam Walter Foss (1890)

My Anarchist Boarder.

Would I consort with anarchists,

        And mix, and drink, and dine?

Oh, yes, I board an anarchist—

        He is a chum of mine.

A ruthless enemy to law,

        This boarder that I mention,

A friend to lawless unconstraint,

        A foe to all convention.

And though I diligently try

        To keep my home in trim,

I harbor this wild anarchist

        And grow attached to him.

His incoherent creed by day

        He blusters and he babbles;

By night he howls it in our ears,

        Or garrulously gabbles.

The right to private ownership

        He strenuously denies;

He rends and tears my property

        Before my very eyes;

And in his fierce and lawless moods

        He'll pound us and belay us;

Oh, he's confusion's champion,

        A hierarch of Chaos!

There are no rights that he respects,

        No sanctity reveres;

Regards not customs, creeds nor texts,

        Experience nor years.

No laws nor constitutions bind

        This anarchist of ours,

Nor popes, nor principalities,

        Nor potencies, nor powers.

He is a hopeless radical,

        A sworn iconoclast—

No plan or purpose for to-day,

        No reverence for the past.

You ask me why I keep him, then;

        Well, I can answer, may be

Because—because he calls me "Dad!"

        And I—I call him "Baby."

                        —S. W. Foss in the Courier.

Troy Times. August 28, 1890: 6 col 1.

Fort Worth Daily Gazette. August 3, 1890: 4 col 6.

Victoria Daily Colonist. August 17, 1890: 3 col 3.

Switchmen's Journal 5(11). March, 1891. 742.

Union Pacific Employes' Magazine 6(3). April 1891. 89.

Foss, Sam Walter. Back Country Poems. Boston, MA: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, 1894. 76-77.

Samuel Walter Foss (1858-1911)

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