Close Close Previous Poem Next Poem Follow Us on Twitter! Poem of the Day Award Follow Us on Facebook! Follow Us on Twitter! Follow Us on Pinterest! Follow Our Youtube Channel! Follow Our RSS Feed! envelope star quill

A Life Well Lived

Table of Contents

  1. Afterglow by Anonymous
  2. A Life Well Lived by Anonymous
  3. When I Consider How My Light Is Spent by John Milton
  4. The Noble Nature by Ben Jonson
  5. "Beautiful Faces" by Anonymous
  6. He Has Achieved Success by Bessie A Stanley
  7. The World's Greatest Need by C Austin Miles
  8. Credo by Roy Neal
  9. The Character of a Happy Life by Sir Henry Wotton
  10. "Treasure In Heaven" by Anonymous
  11. A Recipe For a Day by Anonymous
  12. Old Grimes by Albert Gorton Greene
  13. Contented John by Jane Taylor
  14. The Jolly Old Pedagogue by George Arnold
  15. Contentment by Edward Dyer
  16. Contentment by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  17. The Comparative Degree by Anonymous
  18. Our Chariots by Anonymous
  19. The Little Dog Barked at the Buggy by Anonymous
  20. A Recommendation by Anonymous
  1. Seeds And Thoughts by Anonymous
  2. "The Stars at Set of Sun" by Anonymous
  3. The Little Bird's Song by Anonymous
  4. The Lovable Child by Emilie Poulsson
  5. A Gentle Man by William Henry Venable
  6. Our Duty by Richard Lynott O'Malley
  7. The Good Man by Richard Lynott O'Malley
  8. Give Them the Flowers Now by Leigh M. Hodges
  9. Speak Kindly by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  10. All That Matters by Edgar A. Guest
  11. Show Me the Way by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  12. Little Things by Ellen P. Allerton
  13. The Manly Life by Henry van Dyke
  14. True Wisdom by Lydia Howard Sigourney
  15. The Death of the Righteous by Lydia Sigourney
  16. Labor of Love by Kate Louise Wheeler
  17. Do Your Best by Kate Louise Wheeler
  18. Life's Knitting-Work by Harriet Selden Baker
  19. Days by Annette Wynne
  20. Pleasure-Seekers by Ruby Archer
  21. Love's Millionaire by Florence May Alt
  22. Every Day's a Little Year by Annette Wynne
  23. My Creed by Edgar A. Guest
  24. In Goodness is True Greatness by Helen M. Johnson
  25. Count That Day Lost by George Eliot
  26. The Longest Day by Lydia Sigourney
  27. A Seed by John Boyle O'Reilly
  28. "Whatsoever A Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap." by Peter Burn
  29. A Purpose True by Robert M. Offord

The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.

– Laura Ingalls Wilder
  1. Afterglow

    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.

    – Anonymous
    by Anonymous

    I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
    I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
    I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
    Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
    I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
    Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.

  2. A Life Well Lived

    by Anonymous

    A life well lived is a precious gift
    Of hope and strength and grace,
    From someone who has made our world
    A brighter, better place
    It’s filled with moments, sweet and sad
    With smiles and sometimes tears,
    With friendships formed and good times shared
    And laughter through the years.
    A life well lived is a legacy
    Of joy and pride and pleasure,
    A living, lasting memory
    Our grateful hearts will treasure.

  3. When I Consider How My Light Is Spent

    by John Milton

    When I consider how my light is spent,
    Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
    And that one talent which is death to hide
    Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
    To serve therewith my Maker, and present
    My true account, lest He returning chide;
    “Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”
    I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
    That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
    Either man’s work or His own gifts. Who best
    Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best. His state
    Is kingly: thousands at His bidding speed,
    And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
    They also serve who only stand and wait.”

  4. The Noble Nature

    In small proportions we just beauties see;
    And in short measures life may perfect be.

    – Ben Jonson
    The Noble Nature
    by Ben Jonson

    It is not growing like a tree
    In bulk, doth make Man better be;
    Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
    To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
    A lily of a day
    Is fairer far in May,
    Although it fall and die that night—
    It was the plant and flower of Light
    In small proportions we just beauties see;
    And in short measures life may perfect be.

  5. "Beautiful Faces"

    by Anonymous

    Beautiful faces are they that wear
    The light of a pleasant spirit there;
    Beautiful hands are they that do
    Deeds that are noble good and true;
    Beautiful feet are they that go
    Swiftly to lighten another's woe.

  6. He Has Achieved Success

    He has achieved success who has lived well,
    laughed often and loved much:

    – Bessie A Stanley
    by Bessie A. Stanley

    He has achieved success who has lived well,
    laughed often and loved much:
    who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,
    the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
    who has filled the niche and accomplished his task;
    who has left the world better than he found it;
    whether by an improved poppy,
    a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
    who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty
    or failed to express it;
    who has always looked for the best in others
    and given the best he had.
    whose life was an inspiration;
    whose memory a benediction.

  7. The World's Greatest Need

    by C. Austin Miles

    A little more kindness and a little less greed;
    A little more giving and a little less need;
    A little more smile and a little less frown;
    A little less kicking a man when he's down;
    A little more 'we' and a little less 'I';
    A little more laughs and a little less cry;
    A little more flowers on the pathway of life;
    And fewer on graves at the end of the strife.

  8. Credo

    by Roy Neal

    Mix a little shake of laughter in the doings of the day,
    Scatter golden bits of sunshine as you plod along the way,
    Stop to cheer a fellow human that's a bit worse off than you—
    Help him climb the pesky ladder that you find so hard to do;
    Show by every daily motive, every thought and every deed—
    You are one that folks can turn to when they find themselves in need;
    Just forget the rugged places—make believe they're slick and smooth;

    When you spot the troubled faces, pull a grin and try to soothe;
    Life's a game—a mighty short one—play it gamely while you can—
    Let the score book show the record that you measured up a MAN!
    Pretty pomes and marble towers won't avail you very much,
    When you've passed—unless you've helped to lighten heavy loads and such;
    Better far to have your neighbors say you were a cheerful chap,
    Always kind and always helpful—if you're that, you'll leave a gap;
    You may scatter filthy lucre to your merry heart's content,
    And forgotten be much sooner than some good-souled homeless gent;
    Chances are that in the making of your sordid pile of cash,
    In your handclasps you were faking, though you did show pep and dash;
    Never mind about the fortune you made up your mind to pile—
    But just live the GOLDEN RULE, lad, and your life will be worth while.

  9. The Character of a Happy Life

    by Sir Henry Wotton

    How happy is he born or taught,
    That serveth not another's will;
    Whose armour is his honest thought,
    And simple truth his highest skill;

    Whose passions not his masters are;
    Whose soul is still prepar'd for death
    Untied unto the world with care
    Of princes' grace or vulgar breath;

    Who envies none whom chance doth raise,
    Or vice; who never understood
    The deepest wounds are given by praise,
    By rule of state, but not of good;

    Who hath his life from rumours freed;
    Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
    Whose state can neither flatterers feed,
    Nor ruins make accusers great;

    Who God doth late and early pray,
    More of his grace than goods to send,
    And entertains the harmless day
    With a well-chosen book or friend.

    This man is free from servile bands
    Of hope to rise or fear to fall;
    Lord of himself, though not of lands;
    And having nothing, yet hath all.

  10. Treasure In Heaven

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Treasures of sound! Kind words, and words of love,
    And helpful words, and merry songs of earth,
    Yes, all your tender vocal ministries
    Living forever on the upper air,
    Borne to you on the winds of heaven's May,
    And whispered to you deep in heaven's woods,
    And gratefully repeated here and there
    By unforgetting spirits—ah, the store
    Of golden sounds from earth sent heavenward,
    Echoed in happy tones for evermore!

    Treasures of thought! Decisions firmly true,
    Still meditations blossoming serene,
    The gleam of high ideals followed far,
    Bold aspirations, plans of perfectness
    Outreaching brother arms to all the world,—
    These, written in the libraries of heaven,
    And printed deeply on celestial minds,
    Are authorship indeed! a catalogue
    That Shakespeare well might covet for his own.

    Treasures of courage! Wealth of love and faith,
    Of trust when trust becomes an agony,
    Of hope when hope's last ray has fallen dead,
    Of courage in the chasm of despair!
    These are the pillars of the heavenly homes,
    These are their statues, these their paintings proud,
    The rich adornings of their palaces!
    These are the treasures heaven cannot buy,
    Or God create, The millionaires in these—
    Some gentle mother spending all for love,
    Some patient workman tolling maufully,
    Some large-lived hero living for mankind—
    Will walk in affluence eternally,
    And none will grudge them, but the countless host
    Will glory and rejoice to see them rich.

  11. A Recipe For a Day

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Take a little dash of water cold,
    And a little leaven of prayer,
    And a little bit of morning gold
    Dissolved in the morning air.

    Add to your meal some merriment,
    And a thought for kith and kin;
    And then, as your prime ingredient,
    A plenty of work throw in.

    But spice it all with the essence of love
    And a little whiff of play;
    Let a wise old Book and a glance above
    Complete the well-made day.

  12. Old Grimes

    by Albert Gorton Greene

    Old Grimes is dead; that good old man,
    We ne'er shall see him more;
    He used to wear a long, black coat,
    All buttoned down before.

    His heart was open as the day,
    His feelings all were true;
    His hair was some inclined to gray,
    He wore it in a queue.

    He lived at peace with all mankind,
    In friendship he was true;
    His coat had pocket-holes behind,
    His pantaloons were blue.

    He modest merit sought to find,
    And pay it its desert;
    He had no malice in his mind,
    No ruffles on his shirt.

    His neighbours he did not abuse,
    Was sociable and gay;
    He wore large buckles on his shoes,
    And changed them every day.

    His knowledge, hid from public gaze,
    He did not bring to view,
    Nor make a noise town-meeting days,
    As many people do.

    His worldly goods he never threw
    In trust to fortune's chances,
    But lived (as all his brothers do)
    In easy circumstances.

    Thus undisturbed by anxious cares
    His peaceful moments ran;
    And everybody said he was
    A fine old gentleman.

  13. Contented John

    by Jane Taylor

    One honest John Tomkins, a hedger and ditcher,
    Although he was poor, did not want to be richer;
    For all such vain wishes in him were prevented
    By a fortunate habit of being contented.

    Though cold were the weather, or dear were the food,
    John never was found in a murmuring mood;
    For this he was constantly heard to declare,—
    What he could not prevent he would cheerfully bear.

    "For why should I grumble and murmur?" he said;
    "If I cannot get meat, I'll be thankful for bread;
    And, though fretting may make my calamities deeper,
    It can never cause bread and cheese to be cheaper."

    If John was afflicted with sickness or pain,
    He wished himself better, but did not complain,
    Nor lie down to fret in despondence and sorrow,
    But said that he hoped to be better to-morrow.

    If any one wronged him or treated him ill,
    Why, John was good-natured and sociable still;
    For he said that revenging the injury done
    Would be making two rogues when there need be but one.

    And thus honest John, though his station was humble,
    Passed through this sad world without even a grumble;
    And I wish that some folks, who are greater and richer,
    Would copy John Tomkins, the hedger and ditcher.

  14. The Jolly Old Pedagogue

    by George Arnold

    'T was a jolly old pedagogue, long ago,
    Tall, and slender, and sallow, and dry;
    His form was bent, and his gait was slow,
    And his long, thin hair was white as snow,
    But a wonderful twinkle shone in his eye:
    And he sang every night as he went to bed,
    "Let us be happy down here below;
    The living should live, though the dead be dead,"
    Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    He taught the scholars the Rule of Three,
    Reading, and writing, and history too;
    He took the little ones on his knee,
    For a kind old heart in his breast had he,
    And the wants of the littlest child he knew.
    "Learn while you're young," he often said,
    "There is much to enjoy down here below;
    Life for the living, and rest for the dead!"
    Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    With the stupidest boys, he was kind and cool,
    Speaking only in gentlest tones;
    The rod was scarcely known in his school—
    Whipping to him was a barbarous rule,
    And too hard work for his poor old bones;
    Besides it was painful, he sometimes said:
    "We should make life pleasant down here below—
    The living need charity more than the dead,"
    Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    He lived in the house by the hawthorn lane,
    With roses and woodbine over the door;
    His rooms were quiet, and neat, and plain,
    But a spirit of comfort there held reign,
    And made him forget he was old and poor.
    "I need so little," he often said;
    "And my friends and relatives here below
    Won't litigate over me when I am dead,"
    Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    But the pleasantest times he had of all,
    Were the sociable hours he used to pass,
    With his chair tipped back to a neighbor's wall,
    Making an unceremonious call, Over a pipe and a friendly glass:
    This was the finest pleasure, he said,
    Of the many he tasted here below:
    "Who has no cronies had better be dead,"
    Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    The jolly old pedagogue's wrinkled face
    Melted all over in sunshiny smiles;
    He stirred his glass with an old-school grace,
    Chuckled, and sipped, and prattled apace,
    Till the house grew merry from cellar to tiles.
    "I'm a pretty old man," he gently said,
    "I've lingered a long time here below;
    But my heart is fresh, if my youth is fled!"
    Said the jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    He smoked his pipe in the balmy air
    Every night, when the sun went down;
    And the soft wind played in his silvery hair,
    Leaving its tenderest kisses there,
    On the jolly old pedagogue's jolly old crown;
    And feeling the kisses, he smiled, and said:
    " 'T is it glorious world down here below;
    Why wait for happiness till we are dead?"
    Said this jolly old pedagogue, long ago.

    He sat at his door one midsummer night,
    After the sun had sunk in the west,
    And the lingering beams of golden light
    Made his kindly old face look warm and bright,
    While the odorous night winds whispered, "Rest!"
    Gently, gently, he bowed his head;
    There were angels waiting for him, I know;
    He was sure of his happiness, living or dead,
    This jolly old pedagogue, long ago!

  15. Contentment

    by Edward Dyer

    My mind to me a kingdom is;
    Such perfect joy therein I find
    As far excels all earthly bliss
    That God or Nature hath assigned;
    Though much I want that most would have,
    Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

    Content I live; this is my stay,—
    I seek no more than may suffice.
    I press to bear no haughty sway;
    Look, what I lack my mind supplies.
    Lo, thus I triumph like a king,
    Content with that my mind doth bring.

    I laugh not at another's loss,
    I grudge not at another's gain;
    No worldly wave my mind can toss;
    I brook that is another's bane.
    I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend;
    I loathe not life, nor dread mine end.

    My wealth is health and perfect ease;
    My conscience clear my chief defense;
    I never seek by bribes to please
    Nor by desert to give offense.
    Thus do I live, thus will I die;
    Would all did so as well as I!

  16. Contentment

    Thus humble let me live and die,
    Nor long for Midas' golden touch;

    – Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
    by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

    "Man wants but little here below."

    Little I ask; my wants are few;
    I only wish a hut of stone,
    (A very plain brown stone will do,)
    That I may call my own;
    And close at hand is such a one,
    In yonder street that fronts the sun.

    Plain food is quite enough for me;
    Three courses are as good as ten;—
    If Nature can subsist on three,
    Thank Heaven for three. Amen!
    I always thought cold victual nice;—
    My choice would be vanilla-ice.

    I care not much for gold or land;—
    Give me a mortgage here and there,—
    Some good bank-stock, some note of hand,
    Or trifling railroad share,—
    I only ask that Fortune send
    A little more than I shall spend.

    Honors are silly toys, I know,
    And titles are but empty names;
    I would, perhaps, be Plenipo,—
    But only near St. James;
    I'm very sure I should not care
    To fill our Gubernator's chair.

    Jewels are baubles; 't is a sin
    To care for such unfruitful things;—
    One good-sized diamond in a pin,—
    Some, not so large, in rings,—
    A ruby, and a pearl, or so,
    Will do for me;—I laugh at show.

    My dame should dress in cheap attire;
    (Good, heavy silks are never dear;)—
    I own perhaps I might desire
    Some shawls of true Cashmere,—
    Some marrowy crapes of China silk,
    Like wrinkled skins on scalded milk.

    I would not have the horse I drive
    So fast that folks must stop and stare;
    An easy gait—two forty-five—
    Suits me; I do not care;—
    Perhaps, for just a single spurt,
    Some seconds less would do no hurt.

    Of pictures, I should like to own
    Titians aud Raphaels three or four,—
    I love so much their style and tone,
    One Turner, and no more,
    (A landscape,—foreground golden dirt,—
    The sunshine painted with a squirt.)

    Of books but few,—some fifty score
    For daily use, and bound for wear;
    The rest upon an upper floor;—
    Some little luxury there
    Of red morocco's gilded gleam
    And vellum rich as country cream.

    Busts, cameos, gems,—such things as these,
    Which others often show for pride,
    I value for their power to please,
    And selfish churls deride;—
    One Stradivarius, I confess,
    Two Meerschaums, I would fain possess.

    Wealth's wasteful tricks I will not learn,
    Nor ape the glittering upstart fool;—
    Shall not carved tables serve my turn,
    But all must be of buhl?
    Give grasping pomp its double share,—
    I ask but one recumbent chair.

    Thus humble let me live and die,
    Nor long for Midas' golden touch;
    If Heaven more generous gifts deny,
    I shall not miss them much,
    Too grateful for the blessing lent
    Of simple tastes and mind content!

  17. The Comparative Degree

    Make not a man your measuring-rod
    If you would span the way to God; But fix your eyes on perfectness.
    Make for the loftiest point in view,
    And draw your friends along with you.

    – Amos R. Wells
    The Comparative Degree
    by Amos Russel Wells

    What weight of woe we owe to thee,
    Accurst comparative degree!
    Thy paltry step can never give
    Access to the superlative;
    For he who would the wisest be,

    Strives to make others wise as he,
    And never yet was man judged best
    Who would be better than the rest;
    So does comparison unkind
    Dwarf and debase the haughty mind.

    Make not a man your measuring-rod
    If you would span the way to God; Heed not our petty "worse" or "less,"
    But fix your eyes on perfectness.
    Make for the loftiest point in view,
    And draw your friends along with you.

  18. Our Chariots

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Not as the Hebrew prophet rose
    In flaming chariot to the sky
    Do we as our life journeys close
    Magnificently die

    No wind in rising currents whirled,
    No flying steeds of splendid fire,
    Lift us from out this jangling world
    Up to the heavenly choir.

    And yet the humblest sons of men
    May pass away from mortal view
    In chariots as grand to ken
    As that Elijah knew

    For thoughts of loving tenderness,
    And helpful deeds that never tire
    And words that soothe and cheer and bless,
    Are chariots of fire.

    To such a soul, as up it flies,
    With beams of heavenly glory lit.
    Elijah hastens down the skies
    To meet and welcome it.

  19. The Little Dog Barked at the Buggy

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Mr. Downey O'Gloom, with pardonable pride
    In his horse and his buggy, went out for a ride.
    The road was all level, his horse it was gay,
    Great arches of greenness o'ershadowed the way,
    There was joy in his heart and a light in his eye,
    And he gave a brisk nod to the folks he flew by,
    And his lips were just framing themselves to a song,
    So merrily, cheerily howled he along,
    When—a little dog barked at the buggy; O dear!
    A terrier barked at the buggy!

    The horse did not mind it, but Downey got mad,
    And he—thought—an expression decidedly bad;
    And he whipped at the dog, but he missed him, of course;
    And he scowled at the sidewalks, and jerked at the horse,
    While the terrier, plainly quite dogged in mind,
    With barking obstreperous, followed behind,
    And Downey O'Gloom, in a mood far from sweet,
    Went whirling along the sedate village street,
    While the little dog barked at the buggy; O dear!
    The terrier barked at the buggy.

    And Downey no more had a song in his throat,
    For his heart was attuned to the terrier's note;
    And Downey no more had a light in his eye,
    For that one little cur overshadowed the sky;
    And the road grew uneven with many a jolt,
    And the new buggy rattled in linchpin and bolt,
    And the trees gave no shade, and the friends he passed by
    All flung him a bantering cast of the eye,
    For—the little dog barked at the buggy; O dear!
    The terrier barked at the buggy.

    Fellow drivers that speed on life's road to death's doom,
    Let us see our own image in Downey O'Gloom!
    How often we travel with laughter and song,
    Till some cross little worry comes barking along,
    And then, like a flash, all the sunshine is dead,
    And bare are the boughs of the trees overhead,
    And the road is all ruts, and the birds fly away,
    And the peace is all gone from the heart of the day.
    While the little dog barks at our buggy; O dear!
    The terrier barks at our buggy.

  20. A Recommendation

    Take "Oneatatime," brother.
    Soon you will find
    Quiet serenity
    Filling your mind;

    – Amos R. Wells
    A Recommendation
    by Amos Russel Wells

    When work is harassing
    And driving you mad,
    And not enough patience
    And strength to be had,
    I'll give you a medicine
    Fairly sublime:
    Just get a bottle of

    Take "Oneatatime," brother.
    Soon you will find
    Quiet serenity
    Filling your mind;
    Heaps of accomplishment
    Swiftly will climb,
    Moved by the magic of

  21. Seeds And Thoughts

    by Anonymous

    Who plants a seed, he little knows
    What warm arousing light is lit,
    What spring of living water flows,
    What forces leap to nurture it.

    Who plants a seed, what thought has he
    Of timid sprout, of leaflets young.
    Of sturdy trunk and branching tree,
    Of noble forest far outflung?

    What dream has he who plants a seed
    Of blossoms ravishing the air,
    Of shade that cools, of fruits that feed,
    Of agelong blessings hidden there?

    And he who plants the seed of thought,
    Some eager truth, some daring plan,
    Never he knows what he has wrought
    Of never-ending good to man.

    Through subtle channels winding swift
    The foodful currents gladly run,
    And all the heavens bring their gift
    Of tender breezes, rain, and sun.

    It feels the elemental fears,
    The frost the storm the barren skies;
    And yet throughout the growing years
    Its roots extend, its branches rise;

    Until, one knows not how or when,
    Through all the world the thought has spread,
    And myriads of grateful men
    Pluck from the branches overhead.

    Oh, happy he who plants a seed
    With promises of fruitage fraught;
    But his a happier, holier deed
    Who plants in human souls a thought.

  22. "The Stars at Set of Sun"

    All your joys and griefs He knows
    Counts each falling tear.
    When to Him you tell your woes,
    Know the Lord is near.

    – Anonymous
    "The Stars at Set of Sun"
    by Anonymous

    When the stars at set of sun
    Watch you from on high
    When the morning has begun
    Think the Lord is nigh.

    All you do and all you say,
    He can see and hear:
    When you work and when you play,
    Think the Lord is near.

    All your joys and griefs He knows
    Counts each falling tear.
    When to Him you tell your woes,
    Know the Lord is near.

  23. The Little Bird's Song

    "So live, my child, all through your life,
    That, be it short or long,
    Though others may forget your looks,
    They'll not forget your song."

    – Anonymous
    The Little Bird's Song
    by Anonymous

    A little bird, with feathers brown,
    Sat singing on a tree;
    The song was very soft and low,
    But sweet as it could be.

    The people who were passing by,
    Looked up to see the bird
    That made the sweetest melody
    That ever they had heard.

    But all the bright eyes looked in vain;
    Birdie was very small,
    And with his modest, dark-brown coat,
    He made no show at all.

    "Why, father," little Gracie said
    "Where can the birdie be?
    If I could sing a song like that,
    I'd sit where folks could see."

    "I hope my little girl will learn
    A lesson from the bird,
    And try to do what good she can,
    Not to be seen or heard.

    "This birdie is content to sit
    Unnoticed on the way,
    And sweetly sing his Maker's praise
    From dawn to close of day.

    "So live, my child, all through your life,
    That, be it short or long,
    Though others may forget your looks,
    They'll not forget your song."

  24. The Lovable Child

    by Emilie Poulsson

    Frisky as a lambkin,
    Busy as a bee—
    That's the kind of little girl
    People like to see.

    Modest as a violet,
    As a rosebud sweet—
    That's the kind of little girl
    People like to meet.

    Bright as is a diamond,
    Pure as any pearl—
    Everyone rejoices in
    Such a little girl.

    Happy as a robin,
    Gentle as a dove—
    That's the kind of little girl
    Everyone will love.

    Fly away and seek her,
    Little song of mine,
    For I choose that very girl
    As my Valentine.

  25. A Gentle Man

    by William Henry Venable

    I knew a gentle Man;—
    Alas! his soul has flown;
    Now that his tender heart is still,
    Pale anguish haunts my own.
    His eye, in pity's tear,
    Would often saintly swim;
    He did to others as he would
    That they should do to him.

    He suffered many things,—
    Renounced, forgave, forbore;
    And sorrow's crown of thorny stings,
    Like Christ, he meekly wore;
    At rural toils he strove;
    In beauty, joy he sought;
    His solace was in children's words
    And wise men's pondered thought.

    He was both meek and brave,
    Not haughty, and yet proud;
    He daily died his soul to save,
    And ne'er to Mammon bowed.
    E'en as a little child
    He entered Heaven's Gate;
    I caught his parting smile, which said,
    "Be reconciled, and wait."

  26. Our Duty

    by Richard Lynott O'Malley

    O disconsolate man, why fret and complain
    That no use was thy birth, that thy life hath been vain?
    Bear in mind, every mortal that ever draws breath
    Has a duty assigned to fulfill before death;
    And thou hast thine own, be it great, be it small,
    And perhaps unaware thou art true to it all.
    Hast thou e'er helped a bosom to banish distress?
    Hast thou e'er helped a heart into happiness?
    Hast thou played with the children, and taught them to play?
    Hast thou prayed with the children, and taught them to pray?
    Hast thou smiled on the good? hast thou frowned upon sin?
    Hast thy heart felt the glow of true kindness within?
    Ay, thy duty is such; yet it may be well done
    By a tear and kind word for the desolate one;
    Yea, e'en but one sigh for a mortal in pain
    Were enough to convince that thy life is not vain.

  27. The Good Man

    by Richard Lynott O'Malley

    I met a man on Life's thronged way,
    And thought at once that man was good;
    I learned to know him; strange to say,
    Still thought I that the man was good.
    A virtue loves he, not for praise,
    But for that virtue's sake; to daze
    By show disdained he, Years his ways
    I watched, and still, O still I thought him good.

    Ah! ask you why, amidst the van
    Of heroes, place I him who ran
    His race of life in goodness true?
    Ask you what marvel did he do?
    Duty to God, and self, and man!
    He ended good as he began;
    Such men, alas, are few!

  28. Give Them the Flowers Now

    by Leigh M. Hodges

    Closed eyes can't see the white roses,
    Cold hands can't hold them, you know;
    Breath that is stilled cannot gather
    The odors that sweet from them blow.
    Death, with a peace beyond dreaming,
    Its children of earth doth endow;
    Life is the time we can help them,
    So give them the flowers now!

    Here are the struggles and striving,
    Here are the cares and the tears;
    Now is the time to be smoothing
    The frowns and the furrows and fears.
    What to closed eyes are kind sayings?
    What to hushed heart is deep vow?
    Naught can avail after parting,
    So give them the flowers now!

    Just a kind word or a greeting;
    Just a warm grasp or a smile—
    These are the flowers that will lighten
    The burdens for many a mile.
    After the journey is over
    What is the use of them; how
    Can they carry them who must be carried?
    Oh, give them the flowers now!

    Blooms from the happy heart's garden,
    Plucked in the spirit of love;
    Blooms that are earthly reflections
    Of flowers that blossom above.
    Words cannot tell what a measure
    Of blessing such gifts will allow
    To dwell in the lives of many,
    So give them the flowers now!

  29. Speak Kindly

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    Speak kindly in the morning,
    When you are leaving home,
    And give the day a lighter heart
    Into the week to roam.
    Leave kind words as mementoes
    To be handled and caressed,
    And watch the noon-time hour arrive
    In gold and tinsel dressed.

    Speak kindly in the evening!
    When on the walk is heard
    A tired footstep that you know,
    Speak one refreshing word,
    And see the glad light springing
    From the heart into the eye,
    As sometimes from behind a cloud
    A star leaps to the sky.

    Speak kindly to the children
    That crowd around your chair,
    The tender lips that lean on yours
    Kiss, smooth the flaxen hair;
    Some day a room that’s lonesome
    The little ones may own,
    And home be empty as the nest
    From which the birds have flown.

    Speak kindly to the stranger
    Who passes through the town,
    A loving word is light of weight—
    Not so would prove a frown.
    One is a precious jewel
    The heart would grasp in sleep,
    The other like a demon’s gift
    The memory loathes to keep.

    Speak kindly to the sorrowful
    Who stand beside the dead,
    The heart can lean against a word
    Though thorny seems the bed.
    And oh, to those discouraged
    Who faint upon the way,
    Stop, stop—if just a moment—
    And something kindly say.

    Speak kindly to the fallen ones,
    Your voice may help them rise;
    A word right-spoken oft unclasps
    The gate beyond the skies.
    Speak kindly, and the future
    You’ll find God looking through!
    Speak of another as you’d have
    Him always speak of you.

  30. All That Matters

    by Edgar A. Guest

    When all that matters shall be written down
    And the long record of our years is told,
    Where sham, like flesh, must perish and grow cold;
    When the tomb closes on our fair renown
    And priest and layman, sage and motleyed clown
    Must quit the places which they dearly hold,
    What to our credit shall we find enscrolled?
    And what shall be the jewels of our crown?
    I fancy we shall hear to our surprise
    Some little deeds of kindness, long forgot,
    Telling our glory, and the brave and wise
    Deeds which we boasted often, mentioned not.
    God gave us life not just to buy and sell,
    And all that matters is to live it well.

  31. Show Me the Way

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Show me the way that leads to the true life.
    I do not care what tempests may assail me,
    I shall be given courage for the strife,
    I know my strength will not desert or fail me;
    I know that I shall conquer in the fray:
    Show me the way.

    Show me the way up to a higher plane,
    Where body shall be servant to the soul.
    I do not care what tides of woe, or pain,
    Across my life their angry waves may roll,
    If I but reach the end I seek, some day:
    Show me the way.

    Show me the way, and let me bravely climb
    Above vain grievings for unworthy treasures;
    Above all sorrow that finds balm in time—
    Above small triumphs, or belittling pleasures;
    Up to those heights where these things seem child's play:
    Show me the way.

    Show me the way to that calm, perfect peace
    Which springs from an inward consciousness of right;
    To where all conflicts with the flesh shall cease,
    And self shall radiate with the spirit's light.
    Though hard the journey and the strife, I pray,
    Show me the way.

  32. Little Things

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    We call him strong who stands unmoved—
    Calm as some tempest-beaten rock—
    When some great trouble hurls its shock;
    We say of him, his strength is proved:
    But, when the spent storm folds its wings,
    How bears he then Life's little things?

    About his brow we twine our wreath
    Who seeks the battle's thickest smoke,
    Braves flashing gun and sabre-stroke,
    And scoffs at danger, laughs at death;
    We praise him till the whole land rings;
    But—is he brave in little things?

    We call him great who does some deed
    That echo bears from shore to shore,—
    Does that, and then does nothing more:
    Yet would this work earn richer meed,
    When brought before the King of kings,
    Were he but great in little things.

    We closely guard our castle-gates
    When great temptations loudly knock,
    Draw every bolt, clinch every lock,
    And sternly fold our bars and gates:
    Yet some small door wide open swings
    At the sly touch of little things!

    I can forgive—'tis worth my while—
    The treacherous blow, the cruel thrust;
    Can bless my foe, as Christians must,
    While Patience smiles her royal smile:
    Yet quick resentment fiercely slings
    Its shots of ire at little things.

    And I can tread beneath my feet
    The hills of Passion's heaving sea,
    When wind-tossed waves roll stormily:
    Yet scarce resist the siren sweet
    That at my heart's door softly sings
    "Forget, forget Life's little things."

    But what is Life? Drops make the sea;
    And petty cares and small events,
    Small causes and small consequents,
    Make up the sum for you and me:
    Then, O for strength to meet the stings
    That arm the points of little things!

  33. The Manly Life

    by Henry van Dyke

    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.

  34. True Wisdom

    by Lydia Howard Sigourney

    Why break the limits of permitted thought
    To revel in Elysium? thou who bear'st
    Still the stern yoke of this unresting life,
    Its toils, its hazards, and its fears of change?
    Why hang thy frostwork wreath on Fancy's brow,
    When Labour warns thee to thy daily task,
    And Faith doth bid thee gird thyself to run
    A faithful journey to the gate of Heaven?

    Up, 'tis no dreaming-time! awake! awake!
    For He who sits on the High Judge's seat
    Doth in his record note each wasted hour,
    Each idle word. Take heed thy shrinking soul
    Find not their weight too heavy when it stands
    At that dread bar from whence is no appeal.
    For while we trifle the light sand steals on,
    Leaving the hour-glass empty. So thy life
    Glideth away. Stamp wisdom on its hours.

    So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

    – Psalm 90:12
    The Bible, KJV
  35. The Death of the Righteous

    by Lydia Sigourney

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And saw his parting breath,
    Without a struggle or a sigh
    Yield peacefully to Death,
    There was no anguish on his brow,
    No terror in his eye,
    The Spoiler launch'd a fatal dart,
    But lost the victory.

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And heard the holy prayer
    Which rose above that breathless clay
    To soothe the mourner's care,
    And felt how precious was the gift,
    He to his dear ones gave,
    The stainless memory of the just,
    The wealth beyond the grave.

    I look'd upon the righteous man,
    And all our earthly trust,
    Its pleasure—vanity, and pride,
    Seem'd lighter than the dust,
    Compar'd with his eternal gain,
    A home above the sky!—
    O grant us, Lord, his life to live,
    That we his death may die.

  36. Labor of Love

    by Kate Louise Wheeler

    He planted a tree, on the old home land,
    Where the summer sunlight stayed,
    Tho' he knew full well he should never stand
    'Neath it's fruit and pleasing shade.

    He penciled a book, in his life's last year,
    When the inspiration came,
    Tho' he knew his heart it could never cheer
    With it's gold and certain fame.

    But the leaves of his tree grew, day by day,
    While it's fruit the hungry fed;
    And the fruit of his book will ever stay
    While it's leaves are daily read.

  37. Do Your Best

    by Kate Louise Wheeler

    Make the best of life today—
    Take what God has given;
    Do not falter on the way—
    Each step leads to Heaven.

    Tho' the journey may be long,
    And the way be weary,
    Make it shorter with a song—
    Days will seem less dreary.

    Let the sunshine fill your heart—
    All it's shadows hiding;
    Do your humble little part—
    Leave to God the guiding.

    Do not soar to highest things
    'Till you have a reason;
    He will give the soul it's wings
    In his own good season.

    Little robins in the nest—
    Ere their wings are stronger—
    Learn too late that it is best
    To keep patient longer.

    If you cannot do to-day
    What you hope and plan,
    God will show a better way,—
    Do the best you can.

  38. Life's Knitting-Work

    by Harriet Selden Baker

    My knitting-work I laid aside
    When the week was done;
    But I took it up again
    With Monday's rising sun.

    Stitch by stitch, hour by hour,
    Through the live-long day,
    Do I go the many rounds
    Of life's busy way.

    But I find that I oft drop
    Stitches, here and there,
    From my tired hands that are
    Burdened so with care.

    But each stitch I patiently
    Through the meshes draw:
    Till my work is once again
    Whole, without a flaw!

    O that when my life shall close,
    And all its acts laid bare,
    It might all be found complete—
    Perfect everywhere,—

    A well-rounded life that should
    Receive our Lord's bequest:
    "Well done, Faithful, enter in
    To my promised rest!"

  39. Days

    by Annette Wynne

    Every sort of day together,
    Makes a year of every weather,
    Rainy days and clear days, warm days and cool,
    Holidays, vacation days and days to go to school,
    Winter days and summer days and days of spring and fall,
    To make the calendar, my dear, we have to take them all;
    Here's a pretty day for trying, here's a rainy day for working,
    But I cannot find a single day in all the year for shirking.
    There are days when we are very glad,
    And days when we are still and sad;
    But on all days, I find it good
    To do to others as I would
    Be done by—that's the way
    To keep each passing day
    And so spend happy times together
    In sunny or in windy weather.

  40. Pleasure-Seekers

    by Ruby Archer

    The world is sad with seekers after pleasure.
    Blind eyes deny—they will not see.
    The greatest joys defy their paltry measure
    With worth of simple dignity.

  41. Love's Millionaire

    by Florence May Alt

    Within my little cottage
    Are peace and warmth and light;
    And loving welcome waiting
    When I come home at night.
    The polished kettle's steaming,
    The snowy cloth is spread—
    And close against my shoulder
    There leans a smooth brown head!
    Her eyes are lit with laughter
    (They light the world for me)—
    "For how much would you sell me?
    Now tell me, sir!" cries she.
    'Tis then I answer, somehow,
    Between a smile and tear,
    "Not for all the gold in Klondike!
    The gold in Klondike, dear!"

    When the cosy tea is over,
    With many a frolic fond,
    I sit and read my paper;
    And from the room beyond
    I hear the clink china,
    The tread of nimble feet,
    And broken bits of singing
    That somehow ripple sweet.
    I hear a rush and rustle
    Behind my easy-chair;
    Short, chubby arms enclasp me
    And choke me unaware!
    Into my arms is tumbled
    A crinkled, golden head,
    A ball of fluffy whiteness
    That ought to be in bed.
    She asks her mother's question—
    I kiss the answer clear;
    "Not for all the gold Klondike;
    The gold in Klondike, dear!"

    In dim and dusky office
    I dig my bits of gold;
    I suffer not with hunger,
    Nor perish with the cold.
    My nuggets needs by tiny
    (I dig them with a pen),
    But the Yukon's golden gravel
    I leave for other men.
    My treasure lies exhaustless,
    My claim is staked with care;
    What is all the gold in Klondike,
    Since I'm love's millionaire?

  42. Every Day's a Little Year

    by Annette Wynne

    Every day's a little year,
    Keep it new and full of cheer,
    Keep it glad in any weather,
    So, by adding days together—
    All the whole big year is true—
    Full of cheer and shining new!

  43. My Creed

    by Edgar A. Guest

    To live as gently as I can;
    To be, no matter where, a man;
    To take what comes of good or ill
    And cling to faith and honor still;
    To do my best, and let that stand
    The record of my brain and hand;
    And then, should failure come to me,
    Still work and hope for victory.

    To have no secret place wherein
    I stoop unseen to shame or sin;
    To be the same when I'm alone
    As when my every deed is known;
    To live undaunted, unafraid
    Of any step that I have made;
    To be without pretense or sham
    Exactly what men think I am.

    To leave some simple mark behind
    To keep my having lived in mind;
    If enmity to aught I show,
    To be an honest, generous foe,
    To play my little part, nor whine
    That greater honors are not mine.
    This, I believe, is all I need
    For my philosophy and creed.

  44. In Goodness is True Greatness

    by Helen M. Johnson

    I touch the spring—and lo, a face
    Which for these many years
    Within my heart has had a place,
    A tender place—appears.

    The large dark eyes look up to mine,
    So like thyself!—the cheek,
    The brow, the features, all are thine:
    Speak to me, brother, speak!

    And tell me of each grief and care:
    For be they great or small,
    A sister's heart would take a share—
    And, if it could, take all!

    And tell me of each hopeful plan,
    And how the future seems,—
    Oh, may that future to the man
    Be all the boy now dreams.

    I've heard thee say thou wouldst be great,
    And with the gifted shine;
    'T is well; but there's a nobler fate,
    I pray it may be thine:

    It is to be an honest man,—
    To elevate thy race,
    And like the good Samaritan
    Do good in every place;

    To struggle bravely for the right,
    Though kings defend the wrong;
    To live as in thy Maker's sight,
    And in his strength be strong;

    To put the spotless garment on,
    To keep it pure and white,
    And when the endless day shall dawn
    Receive a crown of light.

    Dear brother, fame is but a breath,
    So I implore for thee
    A holy life, a happy death,
    A blest eternity.

  45. Count That Day Lost

    by George Eliot

    If you sit down at set of sun
    And count the acts that you have done,
    And, counting, find
    One self-denying deed, one word
    That eased the heart of him who heard,
    One glance most kind
    That fell like sunshine where it went—
    Then you may count that day well spent.

    But if, through all the livelong day,
    You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay—
    If, through it all
    You've nothing done that you can trace
    That brought the sunshine to one face—
    No act most small
    That helped some soul and nothing cost—
    Then count that day as worse than lost.

  46. In the Tunnel

    by Bret Harte

    Didn't know Flynn,—
    Flynn of Virginia,—
    Long as he's been 'yar?
    Look 'ee here, stranger,
    Whar hev you been?

    Here in this tunnel
    He was my pardner,
    That same Tom Flynn,—
    Working together,
    In wind and weather,
    Day out and in.

    Didn't know Flynn! Well, that is queer;
    Why, it's a sin
    To think of Tom Flynn,—
    Tom with his cheer,
    Tom without fear,— Stranger, look 'yar!

    Thar in the drift, Back to the wall,
    He held the timbers
    Ready to fall;
    Then in the darkness
    I heard him call:
    "Run for your life, Jake!
    Run for your wife's sake!
    Don't wait for me."
    And that was all
    Heard in the din,
    Heard of Tom Flynn,—
    Flynn of Virginia.

    That's all about
    Flynn of Virginia.
    That lets me out.
    Here in the damp,—
    Out of the sun,—
    That 'ar derned lamp
    Makes my eyes run.
    Well, there,—I'm done!

    But, sir, when you'll
    Hear the next fool
    Asking of Flynn,—
    Flynn of Virginia,—
    Just you chip in,
    Say you knew Flynn;
    Say that you've been 'yar.

  47. The Longest Day

    by Lydia Sigourney

    From us, if every fleeting hour,
    Improvement's boon may ask,
    The longest day must surely claim,
    The most important task.

    But since the longest day must end,
    The happiest life decay,
    Let wisdom's hand, and wisdom's voice,
    Direct our youthful way.

    And when we rise, let morning's eye
    Convey the lesson sweet,
    And ere we sleep, an angel's sigh
    The sacred rule repeat:

    Patient to render good to all,
    Within our bounded sphere,
    The active deed, the grateful word,
    The sympathizing tear:

    To raise the heart to Him who gives
    Our path with hope to shine,
    Meekly receive the cup of joy,
    Or tranquilly resign:

    To let no fear disturb the breast,
    No doubt obscure our sky,
    Since Virtue cannot live unblest,
    Or unrewarded die.

  48. A Seed

    by John Boyle O'Reilly

    A kindly act is a kernel sown,
    That will grow to a goodly tree,
    Shedding its fruit when time has flown
    Down the gulf of eternity.

  49. "Whatsoever A Man Soweth, That Shall He Also Reap."

    by Peter Burn

    We are daily busy sowing
    Living seeds, and they are growing—
    Growing, whether good or ill:
    Soon the time will come for reaping;
    Will it be a time of weeping?
    Or, shall joy our bosoms fill?

    We are daily busy sowing,
    And too oft no thought bestowing—
    Heedless of the NOW or THEN;
    Heedless of our spirits' sowings;—
    O, what madness stamps our doings!
    This is not the work of men!

    O that quicken'd souls were ours!
    And that "good seed" filled the furrows—
    Fill'd the furrows of the heart;
    Then a harvest fair would meet us,
    And a song of praise would greet us
    In the hour when we depart

    7Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 

    – Galatians 6:7

  50. A Purpose True

    by Robert M. Offord

    Lord, make me quick to see
    Each task awaiting me,
    And quick to do;
    Oh, grant me strength, I pray,
    With lowly love each day
    And purpose true.

    To go as Jesus went,
    Spending and being spent,
    Myself forgot;
    Supplying human needs
    By loving words and deeds,
    Oh, happy lot!

Follow Us On: