He Who Serves

by EDGAR GUEST (1881-1959)

He has not served who gathers gold,
Nor has he served, whose life is told
In selfish battles he has won,
Or deeds of skill that he has done;
But he has served who now and then
Has helped along his fellow men.

The world needs many men today;
Red-blooded men along life’s way,
With cheerful smiles and helping hands,
And with the faith that understands
The beauty of the simple deed
Which serves another’s hour of need.

Strong men to stand beside the weak,
Kind men to hear what others speak;
True men to keep our country’s laws
And guard its honor and its cause;
Men who will bravely play life’s game
Nor ask rewards of gold and fame.

Teach me to do the best I can
To help and cheer our fellow man;
Teach me to lose my selfish need
And glory in the larger deed
Which smoothes the road, and lights the day
For all who chance to come my way.

Edgar Guest

Edgar A. Guest was born in 1881 in Birmingham, England. His family came to America in 1891. He began work as a copy boy for the Detroit Press, and his first poem was published in 1898. His prolific output, reflecting American values and encouraging virtue and industriousness, made him immensely popular and he came to be known as “The People’s Poet.

Edgar Guest Contemporaries
Robert Frost
Emile Nelligan
Vachel Lindsay
Marjorie Pickthall

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1 Response

  1. Karen Rice says:

    Maybe he meant he wrote the music and adapted it to the song? He should have clarified that of course ….

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