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It Can Be Done - Poems of Inspiration
by Joseph Morris
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IT CAN BE DONE

POEMS OF INSPIRATION

COLLECTED BY

JOSEPH MORRIS and ST. CLAIR ADAMS



FOREWORD

This is a volume of inspirational poems. Its purpose is to bring men courage and resolution, to cheer them, to fire them with new confidence when they grow dispirited, to strengthen their faith that THINGS CAN BE DONE. It is better for this purpose than the entire works of any one poet, for it takes the cream of many and has greater diversity than any one writer can show.

It is made up chiefly of very recent poems—not such as were written for anthologies of poetical "gems," but such as speak directly to the heart, always in very simple language, often in the phrases of shop or office or street. Included, however, with the poems of the day are a few of the fine old pieces that have been of comfort to men through the ages.

Besides the poems themselves, the volume contains helps to their understanding and enjoyment. The pieces are introduced by short comments; these serve the same purpose as the strain played by the pianist before the singer begins to sing; they create a mood, give a point of view, throw light on the meaning of what follows. Also the lives of the authors are briefly summarized; this is in answer to our natural interest in the writer of a poem we like, and in the case of living poets it brings together facts hardly to be found anywhere else.

Finally, the book is not one to be read and then cast aside. It is to be kept as a constant companion and an unfailing recourse in weariness or gloom. Human companions are not always in the mood to cheer us, and may talk upon themes we dislike. But this book will converse or be silent, it is never out of sorts or discouraged, and so far from being wed to some single topic, it will speak to us at any time on any subject we desire.

To many authors and publishers acknowledgment is due for generous permission to use copyright material.



CONTENTS

Abou Ben Adhem............................. Leigh Hunt Answer, The................................ Grantland Rice Appreciation............................... William Judson Kibby Arrow and the Song, The.................... Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Awareness.................................. Miriam Teichner

Bars of Fate, The.......................... Ellen M.H. Gates Battle Cry................................. John G. Neihardt Belly and the Members, The................. William Shakespeare Be the Best of Whatever You Are............ Douglas Malloch Borrowed Feathers.......................... Joseph Morris Borrowing Trouble.......................... Robert Burns Brave Life................................. Grantland Rice

Call of the Unbeaten, The.................. _Grantland Rice_ Can't...................................... _Edgar A. Guest_ Can You Sing a Song?....................... _Joseph Morris_ Cares...................................... _Elizabeth Barrett Browning_ Celestial Surgeon, The..................... _Robert Louis Stevenson_ Challenge.................................. _Jean Nette_ Chambered Nautilus, The.................... _Oliver Wendell Holmes_ Character of a Happy Life.................. _Sir Henry Wotton_ Clear the Way.............................. _Charles Mackay_ Cleon and I................................ _Charles Mackay_ Columbus................................... _Joaquin Miller_ Conqueror, The............................. _Berton Braley_ Co-operation............................... _J. Mason Knox_ Courage.................................... _Florence Earle Coates Cowards.................................... _William Shakespeare_ Creed, A................................... _Edwin Markham_

Daffodils, The............................. William Wordsworth Days of Cheer.............................. James W. Foley December 31................................ S.E. Kiser De Sunflower Ain't de Daisy................ Anonymous Disappointed, The.......................... Ella Wheeler Wilcox Duty....................................... Ralph Waldo Emerson Duty....................................... Edwin Markham

Envoi...................................... John G. Neihardt Essentials................................. St. Clair Adams

Fable...................................... Ralph Waldo Emerson Fairy Song................................. John Keats Faith...................................... S.E. Kiser Faith...................................... Edward Rowland Sill Fighter, The............................... S.E. Kiser Fighting Failure, The...................... Everard Jack Appleton Firm of Grin and Barrett, The.............. Sam Walter Foss Four Things................................ Henry Van Dyke Friends of Mine............................ James W. Foley

Game, The.................................. Grantland Rice Gifts of God, The.......................... George Herbert Gift, The.................................. Robert Burns Gladness................................... Anna Hempstead Branch Glad Song, The............................. Joseph Morris God........................................ Gamaliel Bradford Good Deeds................................. William Shakespeare Good Intentions............................ St. Clair Adams Good Name, A............................... William Shakespeare Gradatim................................... G. Holland Gray Days.................................. Griffith Alexander Greatness of the Soul, The................. Alfred Tennyson Grief...................................... Angela Morgan Grumpy Guy, The............................ Griffith Alexander

Happy Heart, The........................... Thomas Dekker Has-Beens, The............................. Walt Mason Having Done and Doing...................... William Shakespeare Heinelet................................... Gamaliel Bradford Helpin' Out................................ William Judson Kibby Here's Hopin'.............................. Frank L. Stanton Hero, A.................................... Florence Earle Coates He Whom a Dream Hath Possessed............. Sheamus O Sheel His Ally................................... William Rose Benet Hoe Your Row............................... Frank L. Stanton Hold Fast.................................. Everard Jack Appleton Hope....................................... Anonymous Hopeful Brother, A......................... Frank L. Stanton House by the Side of the Road, The......... Sam Walter Foss How Did You Die?........................... Edmund Vance Cooke How Do You Tackle Your Work?............... Edgar A. Guest Hymn to Happiness, A....................... James W. Foley

If......................................... John Kendrick Bangs If......................................... Rudyard Kipling If I Should Die............................ Ben King If You Can't Go Over or Under, Go Round.... Joseph Morris I'm Glad................................... Anonymous Inner Light, The........................... John Milton Invictus................................... William Ernest Henley Is It Raining, Little Flower?.............. Anonymous It Couldn't Be Done........................ Edgar A. Guest It May Be.................................. S.E. Riser It Won't Stay Blowed....................... St. Clair Adams

Jaw........................................ St. Clair Adams Joy of Living, The......................... Gamaliel Bradford Just Be Glad............................... James Whitcomb Riley Just Whistle............................... Frank L. Stanton

Keep A-Goin'!.............................. Frank L. Stanton Keep On Keepin' On......................... Anonymous Keep Sweet................................. Strickland W. Gillilan Kingdom of Man, The........................ John Kendrick Bangs Know Thyself............................... Angela Morgan

Laugh a Little Bit......................... Edmund Vance Cooke Lesson from History, A..................... Joseph Morris Let Me Live Out My Years................... John G. Neihardt Life....................................... Griffith Alexander Life....................................... Edward Rowland Sill Life....................................... Ella Wheeler Wilcox Life and Death............................. Anna Barbauld Life and Death............................. Ernest H. Crosby Life, not Death............................ Alfred Tennyson Life Without Passion....................... William Shakespeare Lion Path, The............................. Charlotte Perkins Gilman Lions and Ants............................. Walt Mason Little Prayer, A........................... S.E. Kiser Little Thankful Song, A.................... Frank L. Stanton Lose the Day Loitering..................... Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Man, Bird, and God......................... Robert Browning Man or Manikin............................. Richard Butler Glaenzer Man's a Man for A' That, A................. Robert Burns Man Who Frets at Worldly Strife, The....... Joseph Rodman Drake Meetin' Trouble............................ Everard Jack Appleton "Might Have Been".......................... Grantland Rice Mistress Fate.............................. William Rose Benet Morality................................... Matthew Arnold My Creed................................... S.E. Kiser My Philosophy.............................. James Whitcomb Riley My Triumph................................. John Greenleaf Whittier My Wage.................................... Jessie B. Rittenhouse

Never Trouble Trouble...................... St. Clair Adams New Duckling, The.......................... Alfred Noyes Noble Nature, The.......................... Ben Jonson

Ode to Duty................................ William Wordsworth On Being Ready............................. Grantland Rice On Down the Road........................... Grantland Rice One Fight More............................. Theodosia Garrison One of These Days.......................... James W. Foley One, The................................... Everard Jack Appleton Opening Paradise........................... Thomas Gray Opportunity................................ Berton Braley Opportunity................................ John James Ingalls Opportunity................................ Walter Malone Opportunity................................ Edwin Markham Opportunity................................ William Shakespeare Opportunity................................ Edward Rowland Sill Order and the Bees......................... William Shakespeare Ownership.................................. St. Clair Adams

Painting the Lily.......................... William Shakespeare Per Aspera................................. Florence Earle Coates Pessimist, The............................. Ben King Philosopher, A............................. John Kendrick Bangs Philosophy for Croakers.................... Joseph Morris Pippa's Song............................... Robert Browning Playing the Game........................... Anonymous Playing the Game........................... Berton Braley Play the Game.............................. Henry Newbolt Polonius's Advice to Laertes............... William Shakespeare Poor Unfortunate, A........................ Frank L. Stanton Praise the Generous Gods for Giving........ William Ernest Henley Prayer, A.................................. Theodosia Garrison Prayer for Pain............................ John G. Neihardt Preparedness............................... Edwin Markham Press On................................... Park Benjamin Pretty Good World, A....................... Frank L. Stanton Problem to Be Solved, A.................... St. Clair Adams Prometheus Unbound......................... Percy Bysshe Shelley Prospice................................... Robert Browning Psalm of Life, A........................... Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Quitter, The............................... Robert W. Service

Rabbi Ben Ezra............................. Robert Browning Rainbow, The............................... William Wordsworth Rectifying Years, The...................... St. Clair Adams Resolve.................................... Charlotte Perkins Gilman Richer Mines, The.......................... John Kendrick Bangs Ring Out, Wild Bells....................... Alfred Tennyson Rules for the Road......................... Edwin Markham

Sadness and Merriment...................... William Shakespeare Say Not the Struggle Nought Availeth....... Arthur Hugh Clough See It Through............................. Edgar A. Guest Self-Dependence............................ Matthew Arnold Serenity................................... Lord Byron Sit Down, Sad Soul......................... Bryan Waller Procter Sleep and the Monarch...................... William Shakespeare Slogan..................................... Jane M'Lean Smiles..................................... Ella Wheeler Wilcox Smiling Paradox, A......................... John Kendrick Bangs Solitude................................... Ella Wheeler Wilcox Song of Endeavor........................... James W. Foley Song of Life, A............................ Angela Morgan Song of Thanksgiving, A.................... Angela Morgan Song of To-morrow, A....................... Frank L. Stanton Stability.................................. William Shakespeare Stand Forth!............................... Angela Morgan Start Where You Stand...................... Bert on Braley Steadfast.................................. Everard Jack Appleton Stone Rejected, The........................ Edwin Markham Struggle, The.............................. Miriam Teichner Submission................................. Miriam Teichner Success.................................... Berton Braley Swellitis.................................. Joseph Morris Syndicated Smile, The...................... St. Clair Adams

There Will Always Be Something to Do....... Edgar A. Guest Thick Is the Darkness...................... William Ernest Henley Things That Haven't Been Done Before, The.. Edgar A. Guest This World................................. Frank L. Stanton Times Go by Turns.......................... Robert Southwell Tit for Tat................................ St. Clair Adams To Althea from Prison...................... Richard Lovelace Toast to Merriment, A...................... James W. Foley To a Young Man............................. Edgar A. Guest To-day..................................... Thomas Carlyle To-day..................................... Douglas Malloch To Melancholy.............................. John Kendrick Bangs To the Men Who Lose........................ Anonymous To Those Who Fail.......................... Joaquin Miller To Youth After Pain........................ Margaret Widdemer Trainers, The.............................. Grantland Rice Two at a Fireside.......................... Edwin Markham Two Raindrops.............................. Joseph Morris

Ultimate Act............................... Henry Bryan Binns Ulysses.................................... Alfred Tennyson Unafraid................................... Everard Jack Appleton Undismayed................................. James W. Foley Unmusical Soloist, The..................... Joseph Morris Unsubdued.................................. S.E. Kiser

Victory.................................... Miriam Teichner Victory in Defeat.......................... Edwin Markham

Wanted—a Man.............................. St. Clair Adams Welcome Man, The........................... Walt Mason What Dark Days Do.......................... Everard Jack Appleton When Earth's Last Picture Is Painted....... Rudyard Kipling When Nature Wants a Man.................... Angela Morgan Will....................................... Alfred Tennyson Will....................................... Ella Wheeler Wilcox Wisdom of Folly, The....................... Ellen Thorneycroft Fowler Wishing.................................... Ella Wheeler Wilcox Woman Who Understands, The................. Everard Jack Appleton Word, The.................................. John Kendrick Bangs Work....................................... Angela Morgan Work....................................... Henry Van Dyke World Is Against Me, The................... Edgar A. Guest Worth While................................ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You May Count That Day..................... George Eliot Your Mission............................... Ellen M.H. Gates



IT CAN BE DONE



BE THE BEST OF WHATEVER YOU ARE

We all dream of great deeds and high positions, away from the pettiness and humdrum of ordinary life. Yet success is not occupying a lofty place or doing conspicuous work; it is being the best that is in you. Rattling around in too big a job is much worse than filling a small one to overflowing. Dream, aspire by all means; but do not ruin the life you must lead by dreaming pipe-dreams of the one you would like to lead. Make the most of what you have and are. Perhaps your trivial, immediate task is your one sure way of proving your mettle. Do the thing near at hand, and great things will come to your hand to be done.

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill Be a scrub in the valley—but be The best little scrub by the side of the rill; Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass, And some highway some happier make; If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass— But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew, There's something for all of us here. There's big work to do and there's lesser to do, And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail, If you can't be the sun be a star; It isn't by size that you win or you fail— Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch.



THE HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD

This poem has as its keynote friendship and sympathy for other people. It is a paradox of life that by hoarding love and happiness we lose them, and that only by giving them away can we keep them for ourselves. The more we share, the more we possess. We of course find in other people weaknesses and sins, but our best means of curing these are through a wise and sympathetic understanding.

Let me live in a house by the side of the road, Where the race of men go by— The men who are good and the men who are bad, As good and as bad as I. I would not sit in the scorner's seat, Or hurl the cynic's ban;— Let me live in a house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

I see from my house by the side of the road, By the side of the highway of life, The men who press with the ardor of hope, The men who are faint with the strife. But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears— Both parts of an infinite plan;— Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead And mountains of wearisome height; And the road passes on through the long afternoon And stretches away to the night. But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice, And weep with the strangers that moan, Nor live in my house by the side of the road Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my house by the side of the road Where the race of men go by— They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong, Wise, foolish—so am I. Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat Or hurl the cynic's ban?— Let me live in my house by the side of the road And be a friend to man.

Sam Walter Foss.

From "Dreams in Homespun."



FOUR THINGS

What are the qualities of ideal manhood? Various people have given various answers to this question. Here the poet states what qualities he thinks indispensable.

Four things a man must learn to do If he would make his record true: To think without confusion clearly; To love his fellow-men sincerely; To act from honest motives purely; To trust in God and Heaven securely.

Henry Van Dyke.

From "Collected Poems."



IF

The central idea of this poem is that success comes from self-control and a true sense of the values of things. In extremes lies danger. A man must not lose heart because of doubts or opposition, yet he must do his best to see the grounds for both. He must not be deceived into thinking either triumph or disaster final; he must use each wisely—and push on. In all things he must hold to the golden mean. If he does, he will own the world, and even better, for his personal reward he will attain the full stature of manhood.

If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them; "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling.

From "Rudyard Kipling's Verse, 1885-1918."



INVICTUS

Triumph in spirit over adverse conditions is the keynote of this poem of courage undismayed. It rings with the power of the individual to guide his own destiny.

Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley.



IT COULDN'T BE DONE

After a thing has been done, everybody is ready to declare it easy. But before it has been done, it is called impossible. One reason why people fear to embark upon great enterprises is that they see all the difficulties at once. They know they could succeed in the initial tasks, but they shrink from what is to follow. Yet "a thing begun is half done." Moreover the surmounting of the first barrier gives strength and ingenuity for the harder ones beyond. Mountains viewed from a distance seem to be unscalable. But they can be climbed, and the way to begin is to take the first upward step. From that moment the mountains are less high. As Hannibal led his army across the foothills, then among the upper ranges, and finally over the loftiest peaks and passes of the Alps, or as Peary pushed farther and farther into the solitudes that encompass the North Pole, so can you achieve any purpose whatsoever if you heed not the doubters, meet each problem as it arises, and keep ever with you the assurance It Can Be Done.

Somebody said that it couldn't be done, But he with a chuckle replied That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried. So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin On his face. If he worried he hid it. He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn't be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that; At least no one ever has done it"; But he took off his coat and he took off his hat, And the first thing we knew he'd begun it. With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, Without any doubting or quiddit, He started to sing as he tackled the thing That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure; There are thousands to point out to you one by one, The dangers that wait to assail you. But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, Just take off your coat and go to it; Just start to sing as you tackle the thing That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

Edgar A. Guest.

From "The Path to Home."



THE WELCOME MAN

There's a man in the world who is never turned down, wherever he chances to stray; he gets the glad hand in the populous town, or out where the farmers make hay; he's greeted with pleasure on deserts of sand, and deep in the aisles of the woods; wherever he goes there's the welcoming hand—he's The Man Who Delivers the Goods. The failures of life sit around and complain; the gods haven't treated them white; they've lost their umbrellas whenever there's rain, and they haven't their lanterns at night; men tire of the failures who fill with their sighs the air of their own neighborhoods; there's one who is greeted with love-lighted eyes—he's The Man Who Delivers the Goods. One fellow is lazy, and watches the clock, and waits for the whistle to blow; and one has a hammer, with which he will knock, and one tells a story of woe; and one, if requested to travel a mile, will measure the perches and roods; but one does his stunt with a whistle or smile—he's The Man Who Delivers the Goods. One man is afraid that he'll labor too hard—the world isn't yearning for such; and one man is always alert, on his guard, lest he put in a minute too much; and one has a grouch or a temper that's bad, and one is a creature of moods; so it's hey for the joyous and rollicking lad—for the One Who Delivers the Goods!

Walt Mason.

From "Walt Mason, His Book."



THE QUITTER

In the famous naval duel between the Bonhomme Richard and the Serapis, John Paul Jones was hailed by his adversary to know whether he struck his colors. "I have not yet begun to fight," was his answer. When the surrender took place, it was not Jones's ship that became the prize of war. Everybody admires a hard fighter—the man who takes buffets standing up, and in a spirit of "Never say die" is always ready for more.

When you're lost in the wild and you're scared as a child, And death looks you bang in the eye; And you're sore as a boil, it's according to Hoyle To cock your revolver and die. But the code of a man says fight all you can, And self-dissolution is barred; In hunger and woe, oh it's easy to blow— It's the hell served for breakfast that's hard.

You're sick of the game? Well now, that's a shame! You're young and you're brave and you're bright. You've had a raw deal, I know, but don't squeal. Buck up, do your damnedest and fight! It's the plugging away that will win you the day, So don't be a piker, old pard; Just draw on your grit; it's so easy to quit— It's the keeping your chin up that's hard.

It's easy to cry that you're beaten and die, It's easy to crawfish and crawl, But to fight and to fight when hope's out of sight, Why, that's the best game of them all. And though you come out of each grueling bout, All broken and beaten and scarred— Just have one more try. It's dead easy to die, It's the keeping on living that's hard.

Robert W. Service.

From "Rhymes of a Rolling Stone."



FRIENDS OF MINE

We like to be hospitable. To what should we be more hospitable than a glad spirit or a kind impulse?

Good-morning, Brother Sunshine, Good-morning, Sister Song, I beg your humble pardon If you've waited very long. I thought I heard you rapping, To shut you out were sin, My heart is standing open, Won't you walk right in?

Good-morning, Brother Gladness, Good-morning, Sister Smile, They told me you were coming, So I waited on a while. I'm lonesome here without you, A weary while it's been, My heart is standing open, Won't you walk right in?

Good-morning, Brother Kindness, Good-morning, Sister Cheer, I heard you were out calling, So I waited for you here. Some way, I keep forgetting I have to toil or spin When you are my companions, Won't you walk right in?

James W. Foley.

From "The Voices of Song."



THE WOMAN WHO UNDERSTANDS

"Is this the little woman that made this great war?" was Lincoln's greeting to Harriet Beecher Stowe. Often a woman is responsible for events by whose crash and splendor she herself is obscured. Often too she shapes the career of husband or brother or son. A man succeeds and reaps the honors of public applause, when in truth a quiet little woman has made it all possible—has by her tact and encouragement held him to his best, has had faith in him when his own faith has languished, has cheered him with the unfailing assurance, "You can, you must, you will."

Somewhere she waits to make you win, your soul in her firm, white hands— Somewhere the gods have made for you, the Woman Who Understands!

As the tide went out she found him Lashed to a spar of Despair, The wreck of his Ship around him— The wreck of his Dreams in the air; Found him and loved him and gathered The soul of him close to her heart— The soul that had sailed an uncharted sea, The soul that had sought to win and be free— The soul of which she was part! And there in the dusk she cried to the man, "Win your battle—you can, you can!"

Broken by Fate, unrelenting, Scarred by the lashings of Chance; Bitter his heart—unrepenting— Hardened by Circumstance; Shadowed by Failure ever, Cursing, he would have died, But the touch of her hand, her strong warm hand, And her love of his soul, took full command, Just at the turn of the tide! Standing beside him, filled with trust, "Win!" she whispered, "you must, you must!"

Helping and loving and guiding, Urging when that were best, Holding her fears in hiding Deep in her quiet breast; This is the woman who kept him True to his standards lost, When, tossed in the storm and stress of strife, He thought himself through with the game of life And ready to pay the cost. Watching and guarding, whispering still, "Win you can—and you will, you will!"

This is the story of ages, This is the Woman's way; Wiser than seers or sages, Lifting us day by day; Facing all things with a courage Nothing can daunt or dim, Treading Life's path, wherever it leads— Lined with flowers or choked with weeds, But ever with him—with him! Guidon—comrade—golden spur— The men who win are helped by her!

Somewhere she waits, strong in belief, your soul in her firm, white hands: Thank well the gods, when she comes to you—the Woman Who Understands!

Everard Jack Appleton.

From "The Quiet Courage."



WANTED—A MAN

Business and the world are exacting in their demands upon us. They make no concessions to half-heartedness, incompetence, or plodding mediocrity. But for the man who has proved his worth and can do the exceptional things with originality and sound judgment, they are eagerly watchful and have rich rewards.

You say big corporations scheme To keep a fellow down; They drive him, shame him, starve him too If he so much as frown. God knows I hold no brief for them; Still, come with me to-day And watch those fat directors meet, For this is what they say:

"In all our force not one to take The new work that we plan! In all the thousand men we've hired Where shall we find a man?"

The world is shabby in the way It treats a fellow too; It just endures him while he works, And kicks him when he's through. It's ruthless, yes; let him make good, Or else it grabs its broom And grumbles: "What a clutter's here! We can't have this. Make room!"

And out he goes. It says, "Can bread Be made from mouldy bran? The men come swarming here in droves, But where'll I find a man?"

Yes, life is hard. But all the same It seeks the man who's best. Its grudging makes the prizes big; The obstacle's a test. Don't ask to find the pathway smooth, To march to fife and drum; The plum-tree will not come to you; Jack Horner, hunt the plum.

The eyes of life are yearning, sad, As humankind they scan. She says, "Oh, there are men enough, But where'll I find a man?"

St. Clair Adams.



IF I SHOULD DIE

A man whose word is as good as his bond is a man the world admires. It is related of Fox that a tradesman whom he long had owed money found him one day counting gold and asked for payment. Fox replied: "No; I owe this money to Sheridan. It is a debt of honor. If an accident should happen to me, he has nothing to show." The tradesman tore his note to pieces: "I change my debt into a debt of honor." Fox thanked him and handed over the money, saying that Sheridan's debt was not of so long standing and that Sheridan must wait. But most of us know men who are less scrupulous than Fox.

If I should die to-night And you should come to my cold corpse and say, Weeping and heartsick o'er my lifeless clay— If I should die to-night, And you should come in deepest grief and woe— And say: "Here's that ten dollars that I owe," I might arise in my large white cravat And say, "What's that?"

If I should die to-night And you should come to my cold corpse and kneel, Clasping my bier to show the grief you feel, I say, if I should die to-night And you should come to me, and there and then Just even hint 'bout payin' me that ten, I might arise the while, But I'd drop dead again.

Ben King.

From "Ben King's Verse."



JUST BE GLAD

Misfortunes overtake us, difficulties confront us; but these things must not induce us to give up. A Congressman who had promised Thomas B. Reed to be present at a political meeting telegraphed at the last moment: "Cannot come; washout on the line." "No need to stay away," said Reed's answering telegram; "buy another shirt."

O heart of mine, we shouldn't Worry so! What we've missed of calm we couldn't Have, you know! What we've met of stormy pain, And of sorrow's driving rain, We can better meet again, If it blow!

We have erred in that dark hour We have known, When our tears fell with the shower, All alone!— Were not shine and shower blent As the gracious Master meant?— Let us temper our content With His own.

For, we know, not every morrow Can be sad; So, forgetting all the sorrow We have had, Let us fold away our fears, And put by our foolish tears, And through all the coming years Just be glad.

James Whitcomb Riley.

From the Biographical Edition Of the Complete Works of James Whitcomb Riley.



OPPORTUNITY

"I lack only one of having a hundred," said a student after an examination; "I have the two naughts." And all he did lack was a one, rightly placed. The world is full of opportunities. Discernment to perceive, courage to undertake, patience to carry through, will change the whole aspect of the universe for us and bring positive achievement out of meaningless negation.

With doubt and dismay you are smitten You think there's no chance for you, son? Why, the best books haven't been written The best race hasn't been run, The best score hasn't been made yet, The best song hasn't been sung, The best tune hasn't been played yet, Cheer up, for the world is young!

No chance? Why the world is just eager For things that you ought to create Its store of true wealth is still meagre Its needs are incessant and great, It yearns for more power and beauty More laughter and love and romance, More loyalty, labor and duty, No chance—why there's nothing but chance!

For the best verse hasn't been rhymed yet, The best house hasn't been planned, The highest peak hasn't been climbed yet, The mightiest rivers aren't spanned, Don't worry and fret, faint hearted, The chances have just begun, For the Best jobs haven't been started, The Best work hasn't been done.

Berton Braley.

From "A Banjo at Armageddon."



SOLITUDE

Said an Irishman who had several times been kicked downstairs: "I begin to think they don't want me around here." So it is with our sorrows, our struggles. Life decrees that they belong to us individually. If we try to make others share them, we are shunned. But struggling and weary humanity is glad enough to share our joys.

Laugh, and the world laughs with you; Weep, and you weep alone; For the sad old earth Must borrow its mirth, It has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer; Sigh, it is lost on the air; The echoes bound To a joyful sound, But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve, and they turn and go; They want full measure Of all your pleasure, But they do not want your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many; Be sad, and you lose them all; There are none to decline Your nectared wine, But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded; Fast, and the world goes by; Succeed and give, And it helps you live, But it cannot help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure For a long and lordly train; But one by one We must all file on Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

From "How Salvator Won."



UNSUBDUED

"An artist's career," said Whistler, "always begins to-morrow." So does the career of any man of courage and imagination. The Eden of such a man does not lie in yesterday. If he has done well, he forgets his achievements and dreams of the big deeds ahead. If he has been thwarted, he forgets his failures and looks forward to vast, sure successes. If fate itself opposes him, he defies it. Farragut's fleet was forcing an entrance into Mobile Bay. One of the vessels struck something, a terrific explosion followed, the vessel went down. "Torpedoes, sir." They scanned the face of the commander-in-chief. But Farragut did not hesitate. "Damn the torpedoes," said he. "Go ahead."

I have hoped, I have planned, I have striven, To the will I have added the deed; The best that was in me I've given, I have prayed, but the gods would not heed.

I have dared and reached only disaster, I have battled and broken my lance; I am bruised by a pitiless master That the weak and the timid call Chance.

I am old, I am bent, I am cheated Of all that Youth urged me to win; But name me not with the defeated, To-morrow again, I begin.

S.E. Kiser.

From "Poems That Have Helped Me."



WORK

"A SONG OF TRIUMPH"

When Captain John Smith was made the leader of the colonists at Jamestown, Va., he discouraged the get-rich-quick seekers of gold by announcing flatly, "He who will not work shall not eat." This rule made of Jamestown the first permanent English settlement in the New World. But work does more than lead to material success. It gives an outlet from sorrow, restrains wild desires, ripens and refines character, enables human beings to cooperate with God, and when well done, brings to life its consummate satisfaction. Every man is a Prince of Possibilities, but by work alone can he come into his Kingship.

Work! Thank God for the might of it, The ardor, the urge, the delight of it— Work that springs from the heart's desire, Setting the brain and the soul on fire— Oh, what is so good as the heat of it, And what is so glad as the beat of it, And what is so kind as the stern command, Challenging brain and heart and hand?

Work! Thank God for the pride of it, For the beautiful, conquering tide of it. Sweeping the life in its furious flood, Thrilling the arteries, cleansing the blood, Mastering stupor and dull despair, Moving the dreamer to do and dare. Oh, what is so good as the urge of it, And what is so glad as the surge of it, And what is so strong as the summons deep, Rousing the torpid soul from sleep?

Work! Thank God for the pace of it, For the terrible, keen, swift race of it; Fiery steeds in full control, Nostrils a-quiver to greet the goal. Work, the Power that drives behind, Guiding the purposes, taming the mind, Holding the runaway wishes back, Reining the will to one steady track, Speeding the energies faster, faster, Triumphing over disaster. Oh, what is so good as the pain of it, And what is so great as the gain of it? And what is so kind as the cruel goad, Forcing us on through the rugged road?

Work! Thank God for the swing of it, For the clamoring, hammering ring of it, Passion and labor daily hurled On the mighty anvils of the world. Oh, what is so fierce as the flame of it? And what is so huge as the aim of it? Thundering on through dearth and doubt, Calling the plan of the Maker out. Work, the Titan; Work, the friend, Shaping the earth to a glorious end, Draining the swamps and blasting the hills, Doing whatever the Spirit wills— Rending a continent apart, To answer the dream of the Master heart. Thank God for a world where none may shirk— Thank God for the splendor of work!

Angela Morgan.

From "The Hour Has Struck."



HOW DID YOU DIE?

Grant at Ft. Donelson demanded unconditional and immediate surrender. At Appomattox he offered as lenient terms as victor ever extended to vanquished. Why the difference? The one event was at the beginning of the war, when the enemy's morale must be shaken. The other was at the end of the conflict, when a brave and noble adversary had been rendered helpless. In his quiet way Grant showed himself one of nature's gentlemen. He also taught a great lesson. No honor can be too great for the man, be he even our foe, who has steadily and uncomplainingly done his very best—and has failed.

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way With a resolute heart and cheerful? Or hide your face from the light of day With a craven soul and fearful? Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce, Or a trouble is what you make it, And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts, But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that! Come up with a smiling face. It's nothing against you to fall down flat, But to lie there—that's disgrace. The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce Be proud of your blackened eye! It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts; It's how did you fight—and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then? If you battled the best you could, If you played your part in the world of men, Why, the Critic will call it good. Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce, And whether he's slow or spry, It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts, But only how did you die?

Edmund Vance Cooke.

From "Impertinent Poems."



A LESSON FROM HISTORY

To break the ice of an undertaking is difficult. To cross on broken ice, as Eliza did to freedom, or to row amid floating ice, as Washington did to victory, is harder still. This poem applies especially to those who are discouraged in a struggle to which they are already committed.

Everything's easy after it's done; Every battle's a "cinch" that's won; Every problem is clear that's solved— The earth was round when it revolved! But Washington stood amid grave doubt With enemy forces camped about; He could not know how he would fare Till after he'd crossed the Delaware.

Though the river was full of ice He did not think about it twice, But started across in the dead of night, The enemy waiting to open the fight. Likely feeling pretty blue, Being human, same as you, But he was brave amid despair, And Washington crossed the Delaware!

So when you're with trouble beset, And your spirits are soaking wet, When all the sky with clouds is black, Don't lie down upon your back And look at them. Just do the thing; Though you are choked, still try to sing. If times are dark, believe them fair, And you will cross the Delaware!

Joseph Morris.



RABBI BEN EZRA

(SELECTED VERSES)

To some people success is everything, and the easier it is gained the better. To Browning success is nothing unless it is won by painful effort. What Browning values is struggle. Throes, rebuffs, even failure to achieve what we wish, are to be welcomed, for the effects of vigorous endeavor inweave themselves into our characters; moreover through struggle we lift ourselves from the degradation into which the indolent fall. In the intervals of strife we may look back dispassionately upon what we have gone through, see where we erred and where we did wisely, watch the workings of universal laws, and resolve to apply hereafter what we have hitherto learned.

Then, welcome each rebuff That turns earth's smoothness rough, Each sting that bids nor sit nor stand but go! Be our joys three-parts pain! Strive, and hold cheap the strain; Learn, nor account the pang; dare, never grudge the throe!

For thence,—a paradox Which comforts while it mocks,— Shall life succeed in that it seems to fail: What I aspired to be, And was not, comforts me: A brute I might have been, but would not sink i' the scale.

So, still within this life, Though lifted o'er its strife, Let me discern, compare, pronounce at last, "This rage was right i' the main, That acquiescence vain: The Future I may face now I have proved the Past."

For more is not reserved To man, with soul just nerved To act to-morrow what he learns to-day: Here, work enough to watch The Master work, and catch Hints of the proper craft, tricks of the tool's true play.

Robert Browning.



TO MELANCHOLY

The last invitation anybody would accept is "Come, let us weep together." If we keep melancholy at our house, we should be careful to have it under lock and key, so that no one will observe it.

Melancholy, Melancholy, I've no use for you, by Golly! Yet I'm going to keep you hidden In some chamber dark, forbidden, Just as though you were a prize, sir, Made of gold, and I a miser— Not because I think you jolly, Melancholy! Not for that I mean to hoard you, Keep you close and lodge and board you As I would my sisters, brothers, Cousins, aunts, and old grandmothers, But that you shan't bother others With your sniffling, snuffling folly, Howling, Yowling, Melancholy.

John Kendrick Bangs.

From "Songs of Cheer."



THE LION PATH

Admiral Dupont was explaining to Farragut his reasons for not taking his ironclads into Charleston harbor. "You haven't given me the main reason yet," said Farragut. "What's that?" "You didn't think you could do it." So the man who thinks he can't pass a lion, can't. But the man who thinks he can, can. Indeed he oftentimes finds that the lion isn't really there at all.

I dare not!— Look! the road is very dark— The trees stir softly and the bushes shake, The long grass rustles, and the darkness moves Here! there! beyond—! There's something crept across the road just now! And you would have me go—? Go there, through that live darkness, hideous With stir of crouching forms that wait to kill? Ah, look! See there! and there! and there again! Great yellow, glassy eyes, close to the ground! Look! Now the clouds are lighter I can see The long slow lashing of the sinewy tails, And the set quiver of strong jaws that wait—! Go there? Not I! Who dares to go who sees So perfectly the lions in the path?

Comes one who dares. Afraid at first, yet bound On such high errand as no fear could stay. Forth goes he, with lions in his path. And then—? He dared a death of agony— Outnumbered battle with the king of beasts— Long struggles in the horror of the night— Dared, and went forth to meet—O ye who fear! Finding an empty road, and nothing there— And fences, and the dusty roadside trees— Some spitting kittens, maybe, in the grass.

Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

From "In This Our World."



THE ANSWER

Bob Fitzsimmons lacked the physical bulk of the men he fought, was ungainly in build and movement, and not infrequently got himself floored in the early rounds of his contests. But many people consider him the best fighter for his weight who ever stepped into the prize ring. Not a favorite at first, he won the popular heart by making good. Of course he had great natural powers; from any position when the chance at last came he could dart forth a sudden, wicked blow that no human being could withstand. But more formidable still was the spirit which gave him cool and complete command of all his resources, and made him most dangerous when he was on the verge of being knocked out.

When the battle breaks against you and the crowd forgets to cheer When the Anvil Chorus echoes with the essence of a jeer; When the knockers start their panning in the knocker's nimble way With a rap for all your errors and a josh upon your play— There is one quick answer ready that will nail them on the wing; There is one reply forthcoming that will wipe away the sting; There is one elastic come-back that will hold them, as it should— Make good.

No matter where you finish in the mix-up or the row, There are those among the rabble who will pan you anyhow; But the entry who is sticking and delivering the stuff Can listen to the yapping as he giggles up his cuff; The loafer has no come-back and the quitter no reply When the Anvil Chorus echoes, as it will, against the sky; But there's one quick answer ready that will wrap them in a hood— Make good.

Grantland Rice.

From "The Sportlight."



THE WORLD IS AGAINST ME

Babe Ruth doesn't complain that opposing pitchers try to strike him out; he swings at the ball till he swats it for four bases. Ty Cobb doesn't complain that whole teams work wits and muscles overtime to keep him from stealing home; he pits himself against them all and comes galloping or hurdling or sliding in. What other men can do any man can do if he works long enough with a brave enough heart.

"The world is against me," he said with a sigh. "Somebody stops every scheme that I try. The world has me down and it's keeping me there; I don't get a chance. Oh, the world is unfair! When a fellow is poor then he can't get a show; The world is determined to keep him down low."

"What of Abe Lincoln?" I asked. "Would you say That he was much richer than you are to-day? He hadn't your chance of making his mark, And his outlook was often exceedingly dark; Yet he clung to his purpose with courage most grim And he got to the top. Was the world against him?

"What of Ben Franklin? I've oft heard it said That many a time he went hungry to bed. He started with nothing but courage to climb, But patiently struggled and waited his time. He dangled awhile from real poverty's limb, Yet he got to the top. Was the world against him?

"I could name you a dozen, yes, hundreds, I guess, Of poor boys who've patiently climbed to success; All boys who were down and who struggled alone, Who'd have thought themselves rich if your fortune they'd known; Yet they rose in the world you're so quick to condemn, And I'm asking you now, was the world against them?"

Edgar A. Guest.

From "Just Folks."



SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE NOUGHT AVAILETH

In any large or prolonged enterprise we are likely to take too limited a view of the progress we are making. The obstacles do not yield at some given point; we therefore imagine we have made no headway. The poet here uses three comparisons to show the folly of accepting this hasty and partial evidence. A soldier may think, from the little part of the battle he can see, that the day is going against him; but by holding his ground stoutly he may help his comrades in another quarter to win the victory. Successive waves may seem to rise no higher on the land, but far back in swollen creek and inlet is proof that the tide is coming in. As we look toward the east, we are discouraged at the slowness of daybreak; but by looking westward we see the whole landscape illumined.

Say not the struggle nought availeth, The labor and the wounds are vain, The enemy faints not, nor faileth, And as things have been they remain.

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars; It may be, in yon smoke conceal'd, Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers, And, but for you, possess the field.

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking, Seem here no painful inch to gain, Far back, through creeks and inlets making, Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

And not by eastern windows only, When daylight comes, comes in the light, In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly, But westward, look, the land is bright.

Arthur Hugh Clough.



WORTH WHILE

A little boy whom his mother had rebuked for not turning a deaf ear to temptation protested, with tears, that he had no deaf ear. But temptation, even when heard, must somehow be resisted. Yea, especially when heard! We deserve no credit for resisting it unless it comes to our ears like the voice of the siren.

It is easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows by like a song, But the man worth while is one who will smile, When everything goes dead wrong. For the test of the heart is trouble, And it always comes with the years, And the smile that is worth the praises of earth, Is the smile that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent, When nothing tempts you to stray, When without or within no voice of sin Is luring your soul away; But it's only a negative virtue Until it is tried by fire, And the life that is worth the honor on earth, Is the one that resists desire.

By the cynic, the sad, the fallen, Who had no strength for the strife, The world's highway is cumbered to-day, They make up the sum of life. But the virtue that conquers passion, And the sorrow that hides in a smile, It is these that are worth the homage on earth For we find them but once in a while.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

From "Poems of Sentiment."



HOPE

Gloom and despair are really ignorance in another form. They fail to reckon with the fact that what appears to be baneful often turns out to be good. Lincoln lost the senatorship to Douglas and thought he had ended his career; had he won the contest, he might have remained only a senator. Life often has surprise parties for us. Things come to us masked in gloom and black; but Time, the revealer, strips off the disguise, and lo, what we have is blessings.

Never go gloomy, man with a mind, Hope is a better companion than fear; Providence, ever benignant and kind, Gives with a smile what you take with a tear; All will be right, Look to the light. Morning was ever the daughter of night; All that was black will be all that is bright, Cheerily, cheerily, then cheer up.

Many a foe is a friend in disguise, Many a trouble a blessing most true, Helping the heart to be happy and wise, With love ever precious and joys ever new. Stand in the van, Strike like a man! This is the bravest and cleverest plan; Trusting in God while you do what you can. Cheerily, cheerily, then cheer up.

Anonymous.



I'M GLAD

I'm glad the sky is painted blue; And the earth is painted green; And such a lot of nice fresh air All sandwiched in between.

Anonymous.



THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS

The nautilus is a small mollusk that creeps upon the bottom of the sea, though it used to be supposed to swim, or even to spread a kind of sail so that the wind might drive it along the surface. What interests us in this poem is the way the nautilus grows. Just as a tree when sawed down has the record of its age in the number of its rings, so does the nautilus measure its age by the ever-widening compartments of its shell. These it has successively occupied. The poet, looking upon the now empty shell, thinks of human life as growing in the same way. We advance from one state of being to another, each nobler than the one which preceded it, until the spirit leaves its shell altogether and attains a glorious and perfect freedom.

This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign, Sailed the unshadowed main,— The venturous bark that flings On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings, And coral reefs lie bare, Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.

Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl; Wrecked is the ship of pearl! And every chambered cell, Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell, As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell, Before thee lies revealed,— Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!

Year after year beheld the silent toil That spread his lustrous coil; Still, as the spiral grew, He left the past year's dwelling for the new, Stole with soft step its shining archway through, Built up its idle door, Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee, Child of the wandering sea, Cast from her lap, forlorn! From thy dead lips a clearer note is born Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn! While on mine ear it rings, Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul, As the swift seasons roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the last, Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast, Till thou at length art free, Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea!

Oliver Wendell Holmes.



PIPPA'S SONG

This little song vibrates with an optimism that embraces the whole universe. A frequent error in quoting it is the substitution of the word well for right. Browning is no such shallow optimist as to believe that all is well with the world, but he does maintain that things are right with the world, for in spite of its present evils it is slowly working its way toward perfection, and in the great scheme of things it may make these evils themselves an instrument to move it toward its ultimate goal.

The year's at the spring And day's at the morn; Morning's at seven; The hillside's dew-pearled; The lark's on the wing; The snail's on the thorn; God's in his heaven— All's right with the world.

Robert Browning.



OWNERSHIP

The true value of anything lies, not in the object itself or in its legal possession, but in our attitude to it. We may own a thing in fee simple, yet derive from it nothing but vexation. For those who have little, as indeed for those who have much, there are no surer means of happiness than enjoying that which they do not possess. Emerson shows us that two harvests may be gathered from every field—a material one by the man who raised the crop, and an esthetic or spiritual one by whosoever can see beauty or thrill with an inner satisfaction.

They ride in Packards, those swell guys, While I can't half afford a Ford; Choice fillets fill a void for them, We've cheese and prunes the place I board; They've smirking servants hanging round, You'd guess by whom my shoes are shined. But all the same I'm rich as they, For ownership's a state of mind.

They own, you say? Pshaw, they possess! And what a fellow has, has him! The rich can't stop and just enjoy Their lawns and shrubs and house-fronts trim. They're tied indoors and foot the bills; I stroll or stray, as I'm inclined— Possession was not meant for use, But ownership's a state of mind.

The folks who have must try to keep Against the thieves who swarm and steal; They dare not stride, they mince along— Their pavement's a banana peel. Who owns, the jeweler or I, Yon gems by window-bars confined? Possession lies in locks and keys; True ownership's a state of mind.

I own my office (I've a boss, But so have all men—so has he); The business is not mine, but yet I own the whole blamed company; Stockholders are less proud than I When competition's auld lang syned. What care I that the profit's theirs? I have what counts—an owner's mind.

The pretty girls I meet are mine (I do not choose to tell them so); I own the flowers, the trees, the birds; I own the sunshine and the snow; I own the block, I own the town— The smiles, the songs of humankind. For ownership is how you feel; It's just a healthy state of mind.

St. Clair Adams.



A SMILING PARADOX

Good nature or ill is like the loaves and fishes. The more we give away, the more we have.

I've squandered smiles to-day, And, strange to say, Altho' my frowns with care I've stowed away, To-night I'm poorer far in frowns than at the start; While in my heart, Wherein my treasures best I store, I find my smiles increased by several score.

John Kendrick Bangs.

From "Songs of Cheer."



THE NEW DUCKLING

There are people who, without having anything exceptional in their natures or purposes or visions, yet try to be different for the sake of being different. They are not content to be what they are; they wish to be "utterly other." Of course they are hollow, artificial, insincere; moreover they are nuisances. Their very foundations are wrong ones. Be yourself unless you're a fool; in that case, of course, try to be somebody else.

"I want to be new," said the duckling. "O ho!" said the wise old owl, While the guinea-hen cluttered off chuckling To tell all the rest of the fowl.

"I should like a more elegant figure," That child of a duck went on. "I should like to grow bigger and bigger, Until I could swallow a swan.

"I won't be the bond slave of habit, I won't have these webs on my toes. I want to run round like a rabbit, A rabbit as red as a rose.

"I don't want to waddle like mother, Or quack like my silly old dad. I want to be utterly other, And frightfully modern and mad."

"Do you know," said the turkey, "you're quacking! There's a fox creeping up thro' the rye; And, if you're not utterly lacking, You'll make for that duck-pond. Good-bye!"

But the duckling was perky as perky. "Take care of your stuffing!" he called. (This was horribly rude to a turkey!) "But you aren't a real turkey," he bawled.

"You're an Early-Victorian Sparrow! A fox is more fun than a sheep! I shall show that my mind is not narrow And give him my feathers—to keep."

Now the curious end of this fable, So far as the rest ascertained, Though they searched from the barn to the stable, Was that only his feathers remained.

So he wasn't the bond slave of habit, And he didn't have webs on his toes; And perhaps he runs round like a rabbit, A rabbit as red as a rose.

Alfred Noyes.

From "Collected Poems."



CAN YOU SING A SONG?

Nothing lifts the spirit more than a song, especially the inward song of a worker who can sound it alike at the beginning of his task, in the heat of midday, and in the weariness and cool of the evening.

Can you sing a song to greet the sun, Can you cheerily tackle the work to be done, Can you vision it finished when only begun, Can you sing a song?

Can you sing a song when the day's half through, When even the thought of the rest wearies you, With so little done and so much to do, Can you sing a song?

Can you sing a song at the close of the day, When weary and tired, the work's put away, With the joy that it's done the best of the pay, Can you sing a song?

Joseph Morris.



KNOW THYSELF

It seems impossible that human beings could endure so much until we realize that they have endured it. The spirit of man performs miracles; it transcends the limitations of flesh and blood. It is like Uncle Remus's account of Brer Rabbit climbing a tree. "A rabbit couldn't do that," the little boy protested. "He did," Uncle Remus responded; "he was jes' 'bleeged to."

Reined by an unseen tyrant's hand, Spurred by an unseen tyrant's will, Aquiver at the fierce command That goads you up the danger hill, You cry: "O Fate, O Life, be kind! Grant but an hour of respite—give One moment to my suffering mind! I can not keep the pace and live." But Fate drives on and will not heed The lips that beg, the feet that bleed. Drives, while you faint upon the road, Drives, with a menace for a goad; With fiery reins of circumstance Urging his terrible advance The while you cry in your despair, "The pain is more than I can bear!"

Fear not the goad, fear not the pace, Plead not to fall from out the race— It is your own Self driving you, Your Self that you have never known, Seeing your little self alone. Your Self, high-seated charioteer, Master of cowardice and fear, Your Self that sees the shining length Of all the fearful road ahead, Knows that the terrors that you dread Are pigmies to your splendid strength; Strength you have never even guessed, Strength that has never needed rest. Your Self that holds the mastering rein, Seeing beyond the sweat and pain And anguish of your driven soul, The patient beauty of the goal!

Fighting upon the terror field Where man and Fate came breast to breast, Prest by a thousand foes to yield, Tortured and wounded without rest, You cried: "Be merciful, O Life— The strongest spirit soon must break Before this all-unequal strife, This endless fight for failure's sake!" But Fate, unheeding, lifted high His sword, and thrust you through to die, And then there came one strong and great, Who towered high o'er Chance and Fate, Who bound your wound and eased your pain And bade you rise and fight again. And from some source you did not guess Gushed a great tide of happiness— A courage mightier than the sun— You rose and fought and, fighting, won!

It was your own Self saving you, Your Self no man has ever known, Looking on flesh and blood alone. That Self that lives so close to God As roots that feed upon the sod. That one who stands behind the screen, Looks through the window of your eyes— A being out of Paradise. The Self no human eye has seen, The living one who never tires, Fed by the deep eternal fires. Your flaming Self, with two-edged sword, Made in the likeness of the Lord, Angel and guardian at the gate, Master of Death and King of Fate!

Angela Morgan.

From "The Hour Has Struck."



JUST WHISTLE

There is a psychological benefit in the mere physical act of whistling. When the body makes music, the spirit falls into harmonies too and the discords that assail us cease to make themselves heard.

When times are bad an' folks are sad An' gloomy day by day, Jest try your best at lookin' glad An' whistle 'em away.

Don't mind how troubles bristle, Jest take a rose or thistle. Hold your own An' change your tone An' whistle, whistle, whistle!

A song is worth a world o' sighs. When red the lightnings play, Look for the rainbow in the skies An' whistle 'em away.

Don't mind how troubles bristle, The rose comes with the thistle. Hold your own An' change your tone An' whistle, whistle, whistle!

Each day comes with a life that's new, A strange, continued story But still beneath a bend o' blue The world rolls on to glory.

Don't mind how troubles bristle, Jest take a rose or thistle. Hold your own An' change your tone An' whistle, whistle, whistle!

Frank L. Stanton.



"MIGHT HAVE BEEN"

"Yes, it's pretty hard," the optimistic old woman admitted. "I have to get along with only two teeth, one in the upper jaw and one in the lower—but thank God, they meet."

Here's to "The days that might have been"; Here's to "The life I might have led"; The fame I might have gathered in— The glory ways I might have sped. Great "Might Have Been," I drink to you Upon a throne where thousands hail— And then—there looms another view— I also "might have been" in jail.

O "Land of Might Have Been," we turn With aching hearts to where you wait; Where crimson fires of glory burn, And laurel crowns the guarding gate; We may not see across your fields The sightless skulls that knew their woe— The broken spears—the shattered shields— That "might have been" as truly so.

"Of all sad words of tongue or pen"— So wails the poet in his pain— The saddest are, "It might have been," And world-wide runs the dull refrain. The saddest? Yes—but in the jar This thought brings to me with its curse, I sometimes think the gladdest are "It might have been a blamed sight worse."

Grantland Rice.

From "The Sportlight."



THE ONE

In our youth we picture ourselves as we will be in the future—not mere types of this or that kind of success, but above all and in all, Ideal Men. Then come the years and the struggles, and we are buffeted and baffled, and our very ideal is eclipsed. But others have done better than we. Weary and harassed, they yet embody our visions. And we, if we are worth our salt, do not envy them when we see them. Nor should we grow dispirited. Rather should we rejoice in their triumph, rejoice that our dreams were not impossibilities, take courage to strive afresh for that which we know is best.

I knew his face the moment that he passed Triumphant in the thoughtless, cruel throng,— Triumphant, though the quiet, tired eyes Showed that his soul had suffered overlong. And though across his brow faint lines of care Were etched, somewhat of Youth still lingered there. I gently touched his arm—he smiled at me— He was the Man that Once I Meant to Be!

Where I had failed, he'd won from life, Success; Where I had stumbled, with sure feet he stood; Alike—yet unalike—we faced the world, And through the stress he found that life was good And I? The bitter wormwood in the glass, The shadowed way along which failures pass! Yet as I saw him thus, joy came to me— He was the Man that Once I Meant to Be!

I knew him! And I knew he knew me for The man HE might have been. Then did his soul Thank silently the gods that gave him strength To win, while I so sorely missed the goal? He turned, and quickly in his own firm hand He took my own—the gulf of Failure spanned, ... And that was all—strong, self-reliant, free, He was the Man that Once I Meant to Be!

We did not speak. But in his sapient eyes I saw the spirit that had urged him on, The courage that had held him through the fight Had once been mine, I thought, "Can it be gone?" He felt that unasked question—felt it so His pale lips formed the one-word answer, "No!"

* * * * *

Too late to win? No! Not too late for me— He is the Man that Still I Mean to Be!

Everard Jack Appleton.

From "The Quiet Courage."



THE JOY OF LIVING

Men too often act as if life were nothing more than hardships to be endured and difficulties to be overcome. They look upon what is happy or inspiring with eyes that really fail to see. As Wordsworth says of Peter Bell,

"A primrose by the river's brim A yellow primrose was to him, And it was nothing more."

But to stop now and then and realize that the world is fresh and buoyant and happy, will do much to keep the spirit young. We should be glad that we are alive, should tell ourselves often in the words of Charles Lamb: "I am in love with this green earth."

The south wind is driving His splendid cloud-horses Through vast fields of blue. The bare woods are singing, The brooks in their courses Are bubbling and springing And dancing and leaping, The violets peeping. I'm glad to be living: Aren't you?

Gamaliel Bradford.



THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING TO DO

An old lady, famous for her ability to find in other people traits that she could commend, was challenged to say a good word for the devil. After a moment's hesitation she answered, "You must at least give him credit for being industrious." Perhaps it is this superactivity of Satan that causes beings less wickedly inclined to have such scope for the exercise of their qualities. Certain it is that nobody need hang back from want of something to do, to promote, to assail, to protect, to endure, or to sympathize with.

There will always be something to do, my boy; There will always be wrongs to right; There will always be need for a manly breed And men unafraid to fight. There will always be honor to guard, my boy; There will always be hills to climb, And tasks to do, and battles new From now till the end of time.

There will always be dangers to face, my boy; There will always be goals to take; Men shall be tried, when the roads divide, And proved by the choice they make. There will always be burdens to bear, my boy; There will always be need to pray; There will always be tears through the future years, As loved ones are borne away.

There will always be God to serve, my boy, And always the Flag above; They shall call to you until life is through For courage and strength and love. So these are things that I dream, my boy, And have dreamed since your life began: That whatever befalls, when the old world calls, It shall find you a sturdy man.

Edgar A. Guest.

From "The Path to Home."



GOOD INTENTIONS

Thinking you would like a square meal will not in itself earn you one. Thinking you would like a strong body will not without effort on your part make you an athlete. Thinking you would like to be kind or successful will not bring you gentleness or achievement if you stop with mere thinking. The arrows of intention must have the bow of strong purpose to impel them.

The road to hell, they assure me, With good intentions is paved; And I know my desires are noble, But my deeds might brand me depraved. It's the warped grain in our nature, And St. Paul has written it true: "The good that I would I do not; But the evil I would not I do."

I've met few men who are monsters When I came to know them inside; Yet their bearing and dealings external Are crusted with cruelty, pride, Scorn, selfishness, envy, indifference, Greed—why the long list pursue? The good that they would they do not; But the evil they would not they do.

Intentions may still leave us beast-like; With unchangeable purpose we're men. We must drive the nail home—and then clinch it Or storms shake it loose again. In things of great import, in trifles, We our recreant souls must subdue Till the evil we would not we do not And the good that we would we do.

St. Clair Adams.



PHILOSOPHY FOR CROAKERS

Many people seem to get pleasure in seeing all the bad there is, and in making everything about them gloomy. They are like the old woman who on being asked how her health was, replied: "Thank the Lord, I'm poorly."

Some folks git a heap o' pleasure Out o' lookin' glum; Hoard their cares like it was treasure— Fear they won't have some. Wear black border on their spirit; Hang their hopes with crape; Future's gloomy and they fear it, Sure there's no escape.

Now there ain't no use of whining Weightin' joy with lead; There is silver in the linin' Somewhere on ahead.

Can't enjoy the sun to-day— It may rain to-morrow; When a pain won't come their way, Future pains they borrow. If there's good news to be heard, Ears are stuffed with cotton; Evils dire are oft inferred; Good is all forgotten.

When upon a peel I stand, Slippin' like a goner, Luck, I trust, will shake my hand Just around the corner.

Keep a scarecrow in the yard, Fierce old bulldog near 'em; Chase off joy that's tryin' hard To come in an' cheer 'em. Wear their blinders big and strong, Dodge each happy sight; Like to keep their faces long; Think the day is night.

Now I've had my share of trouble; Back been bent with ill; Big load makes the joy seem double When I mount the hill.

Got the toothache in their soul; Corns upon their feelin's; Get their share but want the whole, Say it's crooked dealings. Natures steeped in indigo; Got their joy-wires crossed; Swear it's only weeds that grow; Flowers always lost.

Now it's best to sing a song 'Stead o' sit and mourn; Rose you'll find grows right along Bigger than the thorn.

Beat the frogs the way they croak; See with goggles blue— Universe is cracked or broke, 'Bout to split in two. Think the world is full of sin, Soon go up the spout; Badness always movin' in, Goodness movin' out.

But I've found folks good and kind, 'Cause I thought they would be; Most men try, at least I find, To be what they should be.

Joseph Morris.



THE FIGHTING FAILURE

"I'm not a rabid, preachy, pollyanna optimist. Neither am I a gloomy grouch. I believe in a loving Divine Providence Who expects you to play the Game to the limit, Who wants you to hold tight to His hand, and Who compensates you for the material losses by giving you the ability to retain your sense of values, and keep your spiritual sand out of the bearings of your physical machine, if you'll trust and—'Keep Sweet, Keep Cheerful, or else—Keep Still'"—Everard Jack Appleton.

He has come the way of the fighting men, and fought by the rules of the Game, And out of Life he has gathered—What? A living,—and little fame, Ever and ever the Goal looms near,—seeming each time worth while; But ever it proves a mirage fair—ever the grim gods smile. And so, with lips hard set and white, he buries the hope that is gone,— His fight is lost—and he knows it is lost—and yet he is fighting on.

Out of the smoke of the battle-line watching men win their way, And, cheering with those who cheer success, he enters again the fray, Licking the blood and the dust from his lips, wiping the sweat from his eyes, He does the work he is set to do—and "therein honor lies." Brave they were, these men he cheered,—theirs is the winners' thrill; His fight is lost—and he knows it is lost—and yet he is fighting still.

And those who won have rest and peace; and those who died have more; But, weary and spent, he can not stop seeking the ultimate score; Courage was theirs for a little time,—but what of the man who sees That he must lose, yet will not beg mercy upon his knees? Side by side with grim Defeat, he struggles at dusk or dawn,— His fight is lost—and he knows it is lost—and yet he is fighting on.

Praise for the warriors who succeed, and tears for the vanquished dead; The world will hold them close to her heart, wreathing each honored head, But there in the ranks, soul-sick, time-tried, he battles against the odds, Sans hope, but true to his colors torn, the plaything of the gods! Uncover when he goes by, at last! Held to his task by will The fight is lost—and he knows it is lost—and yet he is fighting still!

Everard Jack Appleton.

From "The Quiet Courage."



DUTY

In a single sentence Emerson crystallizes the faith that nothing is impossible to those whose guide is duty. His words, though spoken primarily of youth, apply to the whole of human life.

So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man, When duty whispers low, Thou must, The youth replies, I can.

Ralph Waldo Emerson.



THE CALL OF THE UNBEATEN

P.T. Barnum had shrewdness, inventiveness, hair-trigger readiness in acting or deciding, an eye for hidden possibilities, an instinct for determining beforehand what would prove popular. All these qualities helped him in his original and extraordinary career. But the quality he valued most highly was the one he called "stick-to-it-iveness." This completed the others. Without it the great showman could not have succeeded at all. Nor did he think that any man who lacks it will make much headway in life.

We know how rough the road will be, How heavy here the load will be, We know about the barricades that wait along the track; But we have set our soul ahead Upon a certain goal ahead And nothing left from hell to sky shall ever turn us back.

We know how brief all fame must be, We know how crude the game must be, We know how soon the cheering turns to jeering down the block; But there's a deeper feeling here That Fate can't scatter reeling here, In knowing we have battled with the final ounce in stock.

We sing of no wild glory now, Emblazoning some story now Of mighty charges down the field beyond some guarded pit; But humbler tasks befalling us, Set duties that are calling us, Where nothing left from hell to sky shall ever make us quit.

Grantland Rice.

From "The Sportlight."



POLONIUS'S ADVICE TO LAERTES

A father's advice to his son how to conduct himself in the world: Don't tell all you think, or put into action thoughts out of harmony or proportion with the occasion. Be friendly, but not common; don't dull your palm by effusively shaking hands with every chance newcomer. Avoid quarrels if you can, but if they are forced on you, give a good account of yourself. Hear every man's censure (opinion), but express your own ideas to few. Dress well, but not ostentatiously. Neither borrow nor lend. And guarantee yourself against being false to others by setting up the high moral principle of being true to yourself.

Give thy thoughts no tongue, Nor any unproportion'd thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar; The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel; But do not dull thy palm with entertainment Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade. Beware Of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in, Bear 't that th' opposed may beware of thee. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice; Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy; For the apparel oft proclaims the man.

* * * * *

Neither a borrower, nor a lender be; For loan oft loses both itself and friend, And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.

William Shakespeare.



HOW DO YOU TACKLE YOUR WORK?

It would be foolish to begin digging a tunnel through a mountain with a mere pick and spade. We must assemble for the task great mechanical contrivances. And so with our energies of will; a slight tool means a slight achievement; a huge, aggressive engine, driving on at full blast, means corresponding bigness of results.

How do you tackle your work each day? Are you scared of the job you find? Do you grapple the task that comes your way With a confident, easy mind? Do you stand right up to the work ahead Or fearfully pause to view it? Do you start to toil with a sense of dread Or feel that you're going to do it?

You can do as much as you think you can, But you'll never accomplish more; If you're afraid of yourself, young man, There's little for you in store. For failure comes from the inside first, It's there if we only knew it, And you can win, though you face the worst, If you feel that you're going to do it.

Success! It's found in the soul of you, And not in the realm of luck! The world will furnish the work to do, But you must provide the pluck. You can do whatever you think you can, It's all in the way you view it. It's all in the start you make, young man: You must feel that you're going to do it.

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