Lo! carpet-bag and bagger occupy the land,
And prove the touring season actively begun;
His personnel and purpose can none misunderstand,
For each upon his frontlet bears his honest brand –
The fool-ish one!
By caravan and car, from country and from town,
A great grasshopper army fell foraging the land;
Like bumblebees that know not where to settle down,
Impossible it is to curb or scare or drown
The tourist band.
With guidebook, camera, with rod and gun, to shoot,
To lure the deer, the hare, the bird, the speckled trout,
The pauper or the prince unbidden they salute,
And everywhere their royal right dare none dispute –
To roam about.
From dark immuring walls and dingy ways of trade,
From high society’s luxurious stately homes,
From lounging places by the park or promenade,
From rural dwellings canopied in sylvan shade,
The tourist comes.
To every mountain peak within the antipodes,
To sweet, sequestered spots no other mortal knows;
To every island fair engirt by sunny seas,
To forest-centers unexplored by birds or bees,
The tourist goes.
For Summer’s fingers all the land have richly dressed,
Resplendent in regalia of scent and bloom,
And stirred in every heart the spirit of unrest,
Like that of untamed fledglings in the parent nest
For ampler room.
What is it prompts the roving mania – is it love
Of wild adventure fanciful, unique, and odd?
Is it to be in fashion, and to others prove
One’s social standing, that impels the madness of
The tramp abroad?
The question hangs unanswered, like an unwise prayer,
Importunate, but powerless response to bring;
Go ask the voyagers, the rovers everywhere –
They only say it is their rest-time, outing, their
So is the world’s eccentric round of joy complete
When happy tourist-traveler, no more to roam,
His fascinating, thrilling story shall repeat
To impecunious, luckless multitudes who greet
The tourist home.
by HATTIE HOWARD (1860-1920)
Public Domain Poetry