Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Songs of the Sespe and Other Rhymes

Friends came over last weekend for supper and brought a small book. It's a small ragged warped book missing it's back cover. I had heard of it a year ago and it sounded interesting.

The book is titled Songs of the Sespe and Other Rhymes. It was published by Frank D. Felt who homesteaded 160 acres along the Sespe River in Ventura County, California. Most of the poems relate his homesteading experiences, his views on life and friendship and his values. One came from his experiences in World War I. Interspersed among the poems are short proverbs.

It's a jewel of 99 pages that conveys emotion and paints brilliant scenes. I've read it and want a copy to reread periodically but it's no longer available. I'm going to photograph each page and transcribe it.

Here are some samples.

"You can lead your horse to water,
But you can't make him drink."
You can send some folks to college,
But that don't make 'em think.

Don't cuss your old mule 'cause he's dumb. If he wa'nt right stupid -- you'd have to walk.

Time To Go To Bed

When the books grow dull and heavy,
Lines begin to weave and blur;
And the kitten at the hearth-side
Drones her slumber drowsy purr;
When the kettle's softly singing
To the crumpled glowing coals --
Then the day is nearly over,
For a pair of sleepy souls,
But we've held a cherished custom
Since the day that we were wed,
And we needs must pop a pan of corn
Before it's time for bed.
So the hearth is soon a-quiver
As our corn barrage resounds--
Whil'st the kitten chases kernels
That go popping out of bounds.
Then, our toes before the embers,
Fading--flushing--blushing red,
We crunch a fill of pop-corn --
Then it's time to go to bed.

Trees of Life

This life of ours is indeed a very strange and brief condition -- all of us seem to trudge along striving to create something, to leave something that might win admiration from our fellow men of today and more from those who chance to pass after we are gone. Many men accomplish this by their good deed, while a few are long remembered, only for the blots they leave upon the pages of memory.

Roving idly thru the wildwood,
Two lads frolicked, glad and gay;
One, rejoicing, gathered acorns,
Cast them wide along the way.
'Neath an oak, the other tarried,
Carved his name, in youthful glee;
Told the legend of his journey,
By the branding of a tree.
Ages wrought a verdant forest
Where, but acorns -- once were cast;
Yet--one withered oak bore witness,
Of the selfish soul that passed.
Thus, the bent of vain ambition;
Thus, poor blinded mortal's goal;
But to live -- and write his legend
Ere the flesh gives back the soul.
But to leave on earth, some token
That each passerby shall see;
Some rejoice -- to cast an acorn,
Others, rudely mar the tree.

Songs of the Sespe.
Songs of the Sespe


Blogger Buffalo said...

Those are a bit of okay.

1/19/2011 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

M'arn a bit!

1/20/2011 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger Lee said...


Frank Felt was a good friend of my grandfather and some of Felt's poems concern the time they spent together. The best times of my youth were spent in the Sespe and the Cuyama and it's a treat to find an interest out there.

2/20/2014 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

We have an autographed copy of the book copyrighted 1934. It is in good condition.

6/19/2014 01:08:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home