Poems and Prayers, Part 9
How Friends are Won
She sighed for beauty, for wealth and fame,
For pleasures she had not known;
"If only these charmed things were mine,
Content would be my own."
She sighed for a lover brave and kind.
For friends that were good and true;
She did not know that these are won
By things that we say and do.
Beauty and fame never dwelt with her,
And wealth never came her way,
But happiness came an abiding guest
When this lesson she learned one day:
That it isn't the house you live in,
And it isn't the clothes you wear,
That makes your friends admire you,
Or makes a lover care.
Nor is it a form divinely wrought,
Or cheek of a lovely hue,
Nor locks the Lorelei might wish,
Or eyes of corn-flower blue.
But it is the words we speak each day,
And the acts of kindness done,
That makes our old friends love us,
And the way that new are won.
- Mollis S. Runcobn.
Woodman, Spare That Tree
Woodman, spare that tree!
Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,
And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand
That placed it near his cot:
There, woodman, let it stand;
Thy ax shall harm it not!
That old familiar tree,
Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea—
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Woodman, forbear thy stroke!
Cut not its earth-bound ties!
Oh! spare that aged oak,
Now towering to the skies.
When but an idle boy
I sought its grateful shade;
In all their gushing joy,
Here, too, my sisters played.
My mother kissed me here,
My father pressed my hand:
Forgive this foolish tear,
But let that old oak stand!
My heart-strings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
Here shall the wild bird sing,
And still thy branches bend.
Old tree, the storm still brave!
And, woodman, leave the spot!
While I've a hand to save,
Thy ax shall harm it not.
-Geobgh P. Mobris
Out in the Fields With God
The little cares that fretted me,
I lost them yesterday,
Among the fields, above the sea,
Among the winds at play;
Among the lowing of the herds,
The rustling of the trees;
Among the singing of the birds,
The humming of tne bees.
The foolish fears of what may happen,
I cast them all away
Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay;
Among the rustling of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod,
Where ill thoughts die and good are born —
Out in the fields with God.
- Elizabeth Babbett Bbowning
The Lesson of Content
Never fret yourself to see
All the things that others have;
Take your lot contentedly.
It is better to be brave,
Cheerful, self-reliant, strong,
Craving naught by God denied,
Than to join the restless throng,
Sated, yet unsatisfied.
Never fret yourself to do
More than lies within your power;
Let your work be always true,
Steady, patient, hour by hour.
It is better far to build
Good foundations, slow and sure,
Than to rear in haste unskilled
Towers whose strength is Insecure.
- Pbiscilla Leonabd.
Speak gently; it is better far
To rule by love than fear.
Speak gently; let no harsh words mar
The good we might do here.
Speak gently. Love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind,
And gently friendship's accents flow;
Affection's voice is kind.
Speak gently to the little child,
Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild—
It may not long remain.
Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear;
Pass through this life as best they may,
Tis full of anxious care.
Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the care-worn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart.
Speak gently, kindly to the poor,
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure
Without an unkind word.
Speak gently to the erring—know
How frail are all! how vain!
Perchance unkindness made them so,
Oh! win them back again.
Speak gently. He who gave his life
To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were in fierce strife,
Said to them, "Peace, be still."
Speak gently; 'tis a little thing
Dropped in the heart's deep well;
The good, the joy, which it may bring,
Eternity shall tell.
Those We Love the Best
They say this world is round, and yet
I often think it square,
So many little hurts we get
From corners here and there.
But one great truth in life I've found,
While journeying to the west—
The only folks who really wound
Are those we love the best.
Those you may thoroughly despise
Can rouse your wrath, 'tis true;
Annoyance in your heart will rise
At what mere strangers do;
But those are only passing ills;
This rule all lives will prove:
The rankling wound which aches and thrills
Is dealt by hands we love.
The choicest garb, the sweetest grace,
Are oft to strangers shown;
The careless mien, the frowning face,
Are given to our own.
"We flatter those we scarcely know,
We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
Love does not grow on every tree,
Nor true hearts yearly bloom;
Alas for those who only see
This cut across a tomb!
But soon or late the fact grows plain
To all, through sorrow's test,
The only folks who give us pain
Are those we love the best.
To Know All is To Forgive All
If I knew you and you knew me;
If both of us could clearly see,
And with an inner sight divine
The meaning of your heart and mine,
I'm sure that we should differ less
And clasp our hands in friendliness;
Our thoughts would pleasantly agree
If I knew you and you knew me.
If I knew you and you knew me,
As each one knows his own self, we
Could look each other in the face
And see therein a truer grace.
Life has so many hidden woes,
So many thorns for every rose;
The "why" of things our hearts would see
If I knew you and you knew me.
- Nixon Waterman.
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