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Duty
by
Carlos Ashley


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If our home town needs improving,
As they all most surely do,
Well, thatís you and you and you and me ó
We need improving, too.

For a townís the folks thatís in it,
And we write upon the scroll;
And the record we have written
There reflects our very soul.

So we owe a solemn duty
To our neighbors and our friends
To do our home town honor
And to serve her noblest ends.

Itís a whole lot more important
Than vain glory or renown;
Just be the kind of feller
Who does something for his town.


†From That Spotted Sow and Other Texas Hill Country Ballads
(Shoal Creek Publishers, 1975)


Carlos Ashley (1904 – 1993) was a lawyer by profession, a rancher by avocation, and a beloved poet. A fourth generation Texan, he loved sports, horses, and writing. He taught English and coached for several years, then entered politics and served as a district attorney, an attorney general, and a state senator. Carlos was Poet Laureate of Texas from 1949-1951.

 


Post New Comment:
Jancan:
This lovely poem touched me.
Posted 05/24/2023 09:35 PM
Wilda Morris:
A wonderful sentiment.
Posted 05/24/2023 09:29 AM
paradea:
Ah yes!!! Love it and the people who WILL step in to serve their town. And don't forget about the ones who quietly go about their lives,obeying town regulations to help make it a HOMEtown!!
Posted 05/24/2023 09:23 AM
Tom Sharpe:
If you have not read Carlos Ashleys book That Spotted Sow you have missed the best. My copy is a copy me if my most prized possessions. Well crafted living lessons everyone needs.
Posted 05/24/2023 09:21 AM
KevinArnold:
Fun. Very American.
Posted 05/24/2023 08:50 AM
Darrell Arnold:
The great thing is there are always people who love their town enough to become involved in serving it in some way. I hate politics, and I'm not all that fond of government, either, but when my little hometown of La Veta, CO, needed a town councilman, I stepped in and got elected and served a four-year term. It was always the way, there. My dad did that, too, as well as serving on the School Board. My brother served as mayor for a time. A cousin served as mayor for a time. So many people are willing to step up, when they see a need. It is heartwarming.
Posted 05/24/2023 08:31 AM
Joan Luther:
Very motivating call to action! Thx for sharing!
Posted 05/24/2023 07:53 AM
Larry Schug:
This one's for you , Darrell! The idea that the residents are the town seems to be a forgotten message. Leave it to good ol' poetry (and Jayne) to keep a good thought in circulation.
Posted 05/24/2023 07:33 AM


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