Family & Poetry

Dr. Gustavus Warfield

Dr. Gustavus Warfield, of Longwood, Howard County, Maryland, wrote this poem upon seeing the ocean for the first time at age 74, in the year 1858.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.

Edward S. Warfield, Sr. (1892-1965) published 11 editions of his "Little Green Book", which contained 39 pieces, most of which he wrote over a period of 30 years or more. Each edition was self-published through Oliver Press, Monroe Street and Frederick Avenue, Baltimore 23, MD. Those who seek out a copy of his book will be richly rewarded by Mr. Warfield's other writings and selections, that somehow teach many of life's important lessons. Born on a farm in Howard County, Maryland, Mr. Warfield became a salesman "par excellence" in farm equipment, auto supplies and life insurance and made friends wherever he went. He received the love of children at family reunions because of his rich repertoire of jokes, antics and stories. Six of his poems and two of his selections are shown here.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr. (1933-), the son of Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr., received his formal training at the Episcopal Seminary in Alexandria, VA. Living in full-time service as a minister in the Episcopal Church and through the Human Resources Department at the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland , he has helped countless numbers of faculty members, neighbors, family members and parishioners, many in their heartfelt hours of need. Many of Reverend Warfield's poems were collected in a compendium, entitled "Embraced by the Spirit", by his wife, Mary Rex Texter Warfield, and presented in booklet form to Ed on the occasion of his 72nd birthday on January 26, 2005. Eight of these poems are presented here.




The following poem was written by Dr. Gustavus Warfield, of Longwood, Howard County, Maryland, upon seeing the ocean for the first time in his life. It is dated July 25 th , 1858 at 9 A.M.

I was over seventy four
When first I sought old ocean's shore;
And saw the rip'ling wave;
I gaz'd as far as eye could reach
And saw them still approach the beach
Where damsels love to lave.

I gaz'd, I thought of time and space;
I thought of a departed race
Who had long, long before
Gaz'd from where I wondering stood
Upon that great and mighty flood
And listened to its roar.
I thought, three thousand miles away
On some bold shore or shelter'd bay
Some one engag'd like me,
Was viewing that majestic scene,
That to my eyes, was lovely green,
That ever restless sea.

All bespeak the love and power,
O Him who ruled at that grant hour,
When all assumed their place;
The Sun above, the Earth below,
The ocean, with its ceaseless flow,
His Majesty to grace.

May all who rest in earthly grave,
And each, whose course the billows lave,
When Time and Space shall cease
Awake from Death, an humbled band,
Accepted and forgiven stand
Before the Prince of Peace.

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Contentment's made of little things,
A dove's soft whirring silver wings
The scent of rose leaves in a jar,
The crystal shining of a star
Six tulips in a row,
The peace and quietness of snow,
The fresh clean scent of new turned sod,
Winged seedlings in a milkweed pod
Contentment isn't far away -
From those who love and search and pray.

By Dorothy Kimble

Selected about 1930 by Mary Snowden Warfield
Mother of Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.

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The Value of Time
The Success of Perseverance
The Pleasure of Working
The Dignity of Simplicity
The Worth of Character
The Power of Kindness
The Influence of Example
The Obligation of Duty
The Wisdom of Economy
The Virtue of Patience
The Improvement of Talent
The Joy of Originating

Poem by Marshall Field, one of Mr. Warfield's favorite poets
Selected by Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.

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We stand on the brink of the future
And we try to see ahead;
At our back is the record of all mankind-
Of all the men now dead.

We must step or be pushed ever forward,
The pressure of time takes us on.
It is useless to sigh for things that are past
Or wish for friends who are gone.

Some gather joy by the bushel
And others just look for pain;
Some search for the sun behind the clouds
While others just fear the rain.

We can train ourselves to be happy,
Or nurture and cherish despair;
We can see life's road bright in the sun,
Or bleak and rough and bare.

Why look for the bitter and ugly?
Why search for shadow and gloom?
Why look for the thorns upon the bush
Beneath the gorgeous bloom?

Shun your duty never-
Take the bitter with the sweet;
Be happy and gay along the way,
Thus adding wings to your feet.

The end of life approaches
Whether we will or no.
o live each day as it passes by-
The future we never know.

The beacon of hope is before us;
If we keep it burnished and bright.
Power from God is in our souls,
Who dares to question His might?

Press onward into the future-
The strength comes day by day.
You know what's right, you know what's wrong-
Your conscience guides the way.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.
September, 1937

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The ties of friendship strengthen
As the Chris tmas Season nears.
Though memories oft bring happiness
They also oft bring tears.

We know that tears and laughter
Are never far apart.
We know if we can mix them well,
We have a human heart.

Sadness has its place in life
But let that place be small
If sorrow is allowed to grow,
It soon o'ershadows all.

A cheerful greeting to you,
And may your hearthstone glow
With health and hope and happiness,
May your tribe and prestige grow.

I wish for you the peace of mind,
That only faith can bring.
And I would like to clasp your hand
As Chris tmas Bells they ring.

Let's not forget that Jesus Chris t
Was born on Chris tmas Day.
Let's not forget to sorship Him;
Let's not forget to pray.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.
December, 1955

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Just pause a moment neighbor
As you pass through the busy years,
And sort out the things that are most worthwhile
In this world of toil and tears.

'Tis the span of but a moment
In the total of all time-
his life that seems so important now-
This life of yours and mine.

We tread the graves of our fathers
And children will soon tread ours;
Most things that seem so vital now
Fade out with the passing hours.

Just this one thought I bring you-
Mix friendliness with your strife:
Give a smile and a hand to every man
As you pass through this fleeting life.

Be a friend to the world you live in
And the world is a friend to you;
Be grouchy and mean and bitter,
The same comes back then too.

Be cheerful, sincere and loyal-
That's the attitude to take;
If you are not true to your fellowman
Your life is but a fake.

God made you in His image;
You must do the best you can-
So all the time be a friend that's true;
In other words, be a man.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.
February, 1933

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Old Father Time is said to be
Marching on with you and me
All thru our youth he seems to creep
From year to year with lagging feet.

A boy of ten who wants a gun
Despairs of reaching twenty-one
A girl of ten with dreamy eyes
Thinks a formal gown the prize

When fifty comes we do not know
Why we thought time was ever slow
For now the years are rushing by
With speed that often makes us sigh

And soon the old man with the hook
Is chasing us from nook to nook
Of all sad words of tongue or pen?
He always gets us in the end

But I must pause - Chris tmas is here!
To send a message of good cheer
Friends: New and old both far & near
Merry Chris tmas - Happy New Year.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.
Baltimore , Maryland
December 7 th , 1953

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My sweethearts number only four
What need have I for any more.
He one is grown - the others grow
Where they will stop - no man can know.

The wife and sweetheart makes up one,
The other three are kids - the bums.
The mother works for them and me
And "what do you know" she works "for free"

We start with none and now behold,
The first child is eighteen years old.
The twins came next - it was a shock
The expense most put our house in hock.

They eat and eat - then ask for more,
They track in mud upon the floor.
The dimes they spend. The clothes they rend.
Their wants just never seem to end.

They hold the fort while I am gone
But try to get them up at dawn.
They hug the pillow tight when called
And from their beds they must be hauled.

They study not - but seem to pass
When questioned - they dish out the "sass."
Like "our teachers are a hectic mess" -
"We did our lessons at recess".

When dishes to wash at times appear
These kids just seem to disappear.
They come and go - they seldom stop
Their footsteps keep the threshold hot.

The 'phone keeps busy all day long
Their friends all visit in a throng.
But, in spite of all that's written here,
These kids are very, very dear.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.

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We are tossed about like a boat at sea,
What means this life to you and me?
When are we cursed? When are we blest?
Should a man raise hell, or do his best?

The middle road is the one to take;
Eat partly bread and partly cake.
Save some money, but spend some too
For money should be a slave - not you.

Yes, money can be a blessing true,
Or the most cruel master you ever knew.
A miser, we know, has a bitter soul,
Make money a means, but not a goal.

Mix play with work along the way;
The sun will shine, if it rains today.
Cry on occasion, but sing some too,
If you can not sing, a smile will do.

Marry one woman you know is true,
And think of her in all you do.
While children are a gift from Heaven,
I suggest not over six or seven.

Drink hard liquor, but use your head,
Live while you live - we're along time dead.
Talk, if you must, but listen too;
Others have ideas as well as you.

Be not too gay, nor yet too sad;
Be not too good, nor yet too bad;
The middle road is the one to find -
Then happiness is yours and mine.

Edward Snowden Warfield, Sr.

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We saw creation dance and play,
For a moment, for a day.
Spirited now in peace divine
Life overflows beside the Brandywine .

For while from above
We saw a vessel filled by love.
Shared with us but for a time
Now flowing on like the Brandywine .

Mother, sister, companion rare,
Boundless gifts displaying care.
Radiant now in LIFE sublime,
As willows weep beside the Brandywine .

Torn to let the love we know
Receive the fullest life can bestow,
Now Life with HIM, more than divine.
Baptized for heaven in the Brandywine .

Flow on then to the boundless shore
Where pain and death can be no more
Put on display, to crush in time.
See full life reflected in the Brandywine .

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.

Presented in celebration of Betty Byrd Norris, at his sister's burial service at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Wilmington , Delaware . She was buried near the Brandywine River not far from Winterthur .

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Blessed to be blessed,
To be blessing.
Gifted to be gifted
To be giving.
Overflowing with the
abundance of the creator's
creative bestowing touch.
Made unique by the spirit's finger,
to express encapsulated in
human form the image of
co-creator filled with all
the possibilities of a limited
world, yet more importantly
filled with the unlimited horizons
of the Maker, in response
to the gift of his blessing
love outpoured and unfolding
in birth.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.

Prayer poem written on the occasion of Mother's day for his children, his grandchildren, and to those yet to be born.

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Avalanches of fireflies
cascading thru dancing
silhouetted trees.
Magic to the eyes.
To delight the beholder.
To show that God's created
light shines brightly in the darkness
basically unexplained but in growingly,
surprising ways.
Calling the beholder to reflect
and to speak in simple ways
the majesty of creation
expressed in simplicity
for all to see and to hear
in blinding radiant micropulses of
Almost knocks you off your horse.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.
Breezy dark night in the backyard of Edward's home at 1802 Kenway in Baltimore .

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Pregnant purple mountains
surround as we shuffle
thru the sunlit leaves
of the wooded path around
the shining reflective shimmering
texture of the lake.
In her sight we take walks
punctuated by little kisses
to seal the night for memory's
treasure, to bear in solitude,
or in the night.
This is the communion that
captures creation in fullest
measure, overflowing in the
wind (spirit) swept lake,
fully alive and in concert with all
around, above, beneath, beside and beyond;
touching the slope filled with naked trees
and dancing evergreens
that reach to heaven where billowing sail
driven clouds carry the image to a
destination close to the heart's most delightful.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.
Written around Lake Laura at Bryce in celebration of Fall with his wife, Mary Rex

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Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr. 4/15/91

As part of his minister's role in the Episcopalian Church , Edward Warfield helped administer to those in sickness and death. This poem was written following a visit from Donna Catling after her husband Duncan's death.

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What is this engagement of two
which touches life so deeply!
The possibilities that surround
so intensely from heart's inner core
the commitment to act, to be,
to fulfill, to enjoy, and to be known,
in a land far from myopic simplicity. It comes
as much more than a two dimensional thing in bold relief,
but rather more like a living diamond bursting with so many
perspectives that the outer eye r the inner depths of
feeling hearts and minds cannot see or even sense a shadow of its
wonder and complexity.
Already the magnitude of two lives bonding; expressed as
Becoming one, but really two in self directed giving,
Receive and rejoice in the face of a world evolving,
A new life being born to live in, on which the galaxies
Look with amazement, and delight that this could be.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.
On the occasion of his son's (John Texter) engagement to Lori

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I knew I really had a heart
When your HEART first touched mine.
Although veiled in flesh and quite apart
It seemed to me to intertwine.

My heart, my pulse, my knowing
Were never so confirmed,
Or will they ever be more flowing,
From all that I have learned.

By the love, compassion, and radiant life
That you have given me,
Day by day, sometimes instrife,
And in necessity.

Your love resonates within me still
And fills my life with joy.
I cannot find the words to fulfill
Or even to employ.

To share the depth and treasure
Of such a gift to me,
That beautifies my life's pleasures, our humanity.

But, try I will as long as my heart remains
Constant and steadfastly,
Sending messages to you in strong refrains
Throughout eternity.

To you, and those whose precious lives we tend
Within our family,
And to those whose lives we've been blessed to mend
Within community.

Still my heart beats on day by day in thankful ecstasy,
That somehow in this teeming life and veil of mystery,
Your heart touches mine and brings to life and unfailing constancy,
In bold relief and endless grace, the full meaning of: TO BE

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.

Written on the occasion of Edward's 25th wedding anniversary with his wife, Mary Rex Keener Texter.

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What is marriage for if not to build the other up!
For one to enhance another's border's of being
To magnify, edify and simply to be for the other.
To join in the sweetest community the dance of creation
To fulfill the needs of the other, and
To touch the realms of the unknown, a miraculous mystery unfolding
To complete the meaning of life.
This is the marriage of marriages.

To set in bold relief, and in contrast, one with the other.
To fulfill a vision barely imagined
To draw together, be together, to provide a desire to live for,
A reason for being in unity.
This is the marriage of marriages.

When sun kisses the earth at dawn
As the song of the warbler touches the ear,
The leaves and limbs dance in a breeze,
When creation awakes to announce its creator
This is the marriage of marriages.

When heaven touches earth
As mountains reach up to the sky,
As the eye meets distant horizons
And stars brighten a black sky in celestial glory
This is the marriage of marriages.

As your hand touches mine
And each step on earth brings me closer to you
And your voice resonates in my ear,
When friend beholds friend
And the still small voice speaks to your soul in a rush of passion
This is the marriage of marriages.

Come to me
Be with me
Stay with me
And I too shall fully live
Each day
Until I die
And all life shall dance for joy.
And even then, as life and death walk hand in hand,
This is the marriage of marriages.

Reverend Edward Snowden Warfield, Jr.

On the occasion of the marriage of his niece, Kathleen Macsherry to Joshua Goldberg on July 4, 1999.

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Acknowledgements | Mission

©2005 George A. Scheele MD