Kent, coming home from Mayberry a few days ago,
glanced into the field and stopped the car.
"What is that out in the field?"
Something was bobbing away and it wasn't the
head of a goat or a cow.
His eyesight is far better than mine and after
a few seconds he announced, "It's a balloon."
So, after pulling up to the house, I asked Hattie
to go and retrieve it from the field. Here's what
she brought home.
It is only fitting, since I am reading an article in
the February 2007 Smithsonian about America's first and
most successful celebrity poet, that I should copy here
a poem of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in celebration of
It is taken from a longer poem titled "The Building of
The Ship of State
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hope of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We know what Master laid thy keel,
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
Who made each mast, and sail, and rope,
What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
In what a forge, and what a heat
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
Fear not each sudden sound and shock,
'Tis of the wave and not the rock;
'Tis but the flapping of the sail,
And not a rent made by the gale!
In spite of rock and tempest's roar,
In spite of false lights on the shore,
Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
Are all with thee--are all with thee!