Poetry of Kansas

A Ballade Of Laughter.

Far sweeter than any fleet humming-bird's note,
    Though poets have called it the essence of cheer;
Far gayer than songs from a troubador's throat,
    Though they win to his bosom milady austere;
    More thrilling than horn of the bold mountaineer,
With power to restrain the heart's ecstasy wild,
    Imbued with a harmony tender and clear,
In the music that lurks in the laugh of a child.
When woe and discouragement over us float,
    When sorrows from their frown-burdened ramparts uprear,
No balm can such all-soothing healing promote,
    Nor give to the downcast such pleasure sincere;
    To the wavering hopes 'tis a beacon anear,
Pointing out that on faith hath enjoyment e'er smiled___
    To assuage every grief and dry up every tear
Seek the music that lurks in the laugh of a child.
In halls of rejoicing its accents denote
    That purity dwells in the cheerfulness here,
And find it at hand or in distance remote,
    'Tis the same loving sound as it swells on the ear___
    Search at will o'er the face of this swift-whirling sphere,
Ne'er can be from man's daintiest handwork beguiled
    A tone that the world will so truly revere
As the music that lurks in the laugh of a child.

__Charles Moreau Harger

Contemporary Kansas Poetry
Helen Rhoda Hoopes
page 64
(Kansas City: Joseph D. Havens Company. 1927)

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May 8, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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