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by Charles Swain

If words could satisfy the heart,
The heart might find less care;
But words, like summer birds, depart,
And leave but empty air.
The heart, a pilgrim upon earth,
Finds often, when it needs,
That words are of as little worth
As just so many weeds.

A little said,—and truly said,—
Can deeper joy impart
Than hosts of words, which reach the head,
But never touch the heart.
The voice that wins its sunny way,
A lonely home to cheer,
Hath oft the fewest words to say;
But, oh! those few,—how dear!

If words could satisfy the breast,
The world might hold a feast;
But words,—when summoned to the test,—
Oft satisfy the least!
Like plants that make a gaudy show,
All blossom to the root;
But whose poor nature cannot grow
One particle of fruit!

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