On the Road and Off the Map

Image from FotoSupples on flickr



Vacation days are here. Perhaps the poem by Berton Braley which follows will help in determining which way to turn.

Off the Road Map

Let’s turn off the wide roads,
Made straight with cement,
And try the shy side-roads
That follow their bent,
That saunter and amble
As rivulets flow;
Let’s try them and ramble
Where ever they go.

We may find a bog-land
Dim, dismal, and black,
A skeeter and frog land —
Well, we can turn back.
But if we discover
Wood, pasture and stream,
Where butterflies hover
And dragonflies gleam,

We’ll gain beyond question,
A blessed release
From traffic congestion
And motor-police,
And, drifting at leisure,
With time for  a glance,
We may find some pleasure
In nature perchance.

Let’s leave the well-girt roads
(With “Hot Dogs” and signs)
And venture the dirt roads
That stroll through the pines —
The roads that lead nowhere
(Or nowhere we know);
Let’s gamble and go where
The little roads go.

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) AUG 14, 1933


“I love a road of romance,
That speaks of mighty men,
A road that leads me somewhere
And then back home again.

There’s beauty in tis windings,
There’s music in its song,
And to its steady rhythm
My heart beats true and strong.

It drops into the valley,
Then climbs toward the dawn,
It never stops nor falters,
But travels ever on.

It tells me tales of freedom,
Of meadows wide and sweet,
Where summer winds are whispering
Across the golden wheat.

And then I hear of battle,
Of wind and rain and snow;
Of slides upon the mountain
And floods far down below.

But oh my road is fearless,
Though times be good or ill
Like mankind’s valiant leaders,
Its course is onward still.

I love a road of romance,
That speaks of dauntless men,
A road that leads me somewhere
And then back home again.”

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Aug 15, 1933

Image from the Adirondack View blog

This poem was written in 1853 by Richard Kendall Munkittrick. B.C.N.

A Country Road

Yellow with dust it sleeps in noonday’s glare,
Yellow with dust it stretches far away;
On the mossed wall will the chipmunks frisk and play,
Where golden daisies broider all the air,
Now nature seems to dream ‘mid fragrance rare,
For summer silence holds unbroken sway,
Till round the bend a creaking wain of hay
Comes lumbering down the drowsy thoroughfare;
Then all is still again. The orchard trees
Are motionless as the distant purple hills
On which the shadows of the white clouds rest,
When suddenly the white-flecked clover seas
All joyous tremble, while bobolink trills
His wildest melodies with sweet unrest.
This the kind of a road to be found “off a road map.”

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Aug 15, 1933

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