Graphic from the book for the top of even-numbered pages

The Stars Above Mount Oread

We walked across the hill one night,
    One summer night___O long ago!
And watched each timid valley light
    Peer through the darkness down below.
When suddenly he raised his head
    In that quick, boyish way he had:
"There are no stars like these," he said
    "That shine above Mount Oread!"
I watched the struggling valley lights
    Push bravely out against the dark
The while his fancy's quickened flights
    Bridged all the years and made his mark.
Youth and ambition know no bars,
    And these, with faith, were all he had.
So his hopes rose and touched the stars
    That night above Mount Oread.
In after years he sometimes sent
    A word of hail across the way,
But how those drifting years were spent
    Or what they brought, he did not say.
Nor could I guess. Yet once alone
    He wrote, half-jestingly, half-sad:
"There are no stars like those that shone
    That night above Mount Oread!"
.       .       .       .       .       .
To night I watched them down below,
    The valley lights, now bright, now dim,
And wondered what of weal or woe
    The fickle years had brought to him
Who once, when all his world was young,
    Had dreamed his dream of fame, dear lad!
And dared to set his hopes among
    The stars above Mount Oread.

__Esther M. Clark

Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Willard Wattles
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
Pages 204-205

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November 3, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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