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Dare to Say No

by Nancy Minerva (Haynes) Miller

Dear children, you are sometimes led
To sorrow, sin, and woe,
Because you have not courage quite,
And dare not answer, No.

When playmates tell you this, or that
Is “very nice to do,”
See first what mamma says, or if
You think ’tis wrong, say No.

Be always gentle, but be firm,
And wheresoe’er you go,
If you are asked to do what’s wrong,
Don’t fear to answer, No.

False friends may laugh and sneer at you,
Temptations round you flow,
But prove yourself both brave and true,
And firmly tell them, No.

Sometimes a thing that’s not a sin,
You might be asked to do,—
But when you think it is not best,
Don’t yield, but answer, No.

True friends will honor you the more,
Ah, yes, and false ones too,
When they have learned you’re not afraid
To stand and answer, No.

And when temptations rise within,
And plead to “come,” or “go,”
And do a wrong for “just this once
Be sure you answer, No.

For when you once have done a Wrong,
The Right receives a blow,—
And Wrong will triumph easier now,
So haste and answer, No.

There’s many a little boy and girl,
And man and woman too,
Have gone to ruin and to death
For want of saying, No!

So, young or old, or great or small,
Don’t fail, whate’er you do,
To stand for Right and nobly dare
To speak an honest No.

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