close close2 chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right twitter bookmark4 facebook3 twitter3 pinterest3 feed4 envelope star

Humility Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Shepherd Boy sings in the Valley of Humiliation by John Bunyan
  2. The Thumb by Anonymous
  3. The Pebble and the Acorn by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. The Mistaken Anemometer by Anonymous
  5. To venerate the simple days by Emily Dickinson
  6. The Happiest Heart by John Vance Cheney

  1. The Shepherd Boy sings in the Valley of Humiliation

    He that is down needs fear no fall,
    He that is low, no pride;
    He that is humble ever shall
    Have God to be his guide.

    - John Bunyan
    The Shepherd Boy sings in the Valley of Humiliation
    by John Bunyan

    He that is down needs fear no fall,
    He that is low, no pride;
    He that is humble ever shall
    Have God to be his guide.

    I am content with what I have,
    Little be it or much:
    And, Lord, contentment still I crave,
    Because Thou savest such.

    Fullness to such a burden is
    That go on pilgrimage:
    Here little, and hereafter bliss,
    Is best from age to age.

  2. The Thumb

    by Anonymous

    Hail to the thumb, the useful thumb,
    The grasper, the holder, the doer of deeds,
    Where fingers are futile and tools succumb,
    Stolid, ungainly, the thumb succeeds.

    Hail to the thumb the homely thumb;
    Rings and jewels are not for it,
    Compliments, dainty and frolicsome,
    For fingers are suited, for thumbs unfit

    Hail to the thumb, the modest thumb;
    Gently und calmly it hides away,
    Never for it a banner and drum,
    Or praise at the end of a strenuous day.

    And hail to the men who are like the thumb;
    Men who are never sung by a bard,
    Men who are laboring, modestly dumb,
    Faithfully doing the work that is hard

    Some day, men of the toiling thumb,
    Men of the modest, invincible worth,
    Some day your high reward will come
    From the Hand of the Lord of heaven and earth!

  3. The Pebble and the Acorn

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "I am a Pebble! and yield to none!"
    Were swelling words of a tiny stone,
    "Nor time nor season can alter me;
    I am abiding, while ages flee.
    The pelting hail and the drizzling rain
    Have tried to soften me, long, in vain;
    And the tender dew has sought to melt,
    Or touch my heart; but it was not felt.
    There's none that can tell about my birth,
    For I'm as old as the big, round earth.
    The children of men arise, and pass
    Out of the world, like the blades of grass;
    And many a foot on me has trod,
    That's gone from sight, and under the sod!
    I am a Pebble! but who art thou,
    Rattling along from the restless bough?"

    The Acorn was shocked at this rude salute,
    And lay for a moment abashed and mute;
    She never before had been so near
    This gravelly ball, the mundane sphere;
    And she felt for a time at a loss to know
    How to answer a thing so coarse and low.
    But to give reproof of a nobler sort
    Than the angry look, or the keen retort,

    At length she said, in a gentle tone,
    "Since it has happened that I am thrown
    From the lighter element, where I grew,
    Down to another, so hard and new,
    And beside a personage so august,
    Abased, I will cover my head with dust,
    And quickly retire from the sight of one
    Whom time, nor season, nor storm, nor sun,
    Nor the gentle dew, nor the grinding heel
    Has ever subdued, or made to feel!"
    And soon, in the earth, she sunk away
    From the comfortless spot where the Pebble lay.

    But it was not long ere the soil was broke
    By the peering head of an infant oak!
    And, as it arose and its branches spread,
    The Pebble looked up, and wondering said,
    "A modest Acorn! never to tell
    What was enclosed in its simple shell;
    That the pride of the forest was folded up
    In the narrow space of its little cup!
    And meekly to sink in the darksome earth,
    Which proves that nothing could hide her worth!
    And oh! how many will tread on me,
    To come and admire the beautiful tree,
    Whose head is towering towards the sky,
    Above such a worthless thing as I!
    Useless and vain, a cumberer here,
    I have been idling from year to year.

    But never, from this, shall a vaunting word
    From the humbled Pebble again be heard,
    Till something without me or within,
    Shall show the purpose for which I've been!"
    The Pebble its vow could not forget,
    And it lies there wrapt in silence yet.

  4. The Mistaken Anemometer

    by Anonymous

    A little anemometer
    On the weather-bureau high
    Was set to measure off the wind
    That whistled through the sky.
    As the wind blew hard or the wind blew soft,
    So swift he turned or slow,
    And just the numher of miles an hour
    His dial-plate would show.

    But the little anemometer
    On the weather-bureau tall
    Decided, very innocent,
    'Twas he that did it all.
    So when the wind blew a hurricane—
    "I'm a terrible fellow!" he cried;
    And when the wind was a zephyr mild—
    "I'm too tired to blow," he sighed.

    Until one melancholy day
    A little breeze, in fun,
    Twisted the anemometer
    So that it couldn't run;
    And thus it learned that the heavens work
    On an independent plan,
    And it grew to be a modest machine
    And ceased to be like a man.

  5. To venerate the simple days

    by Emily Dickinson

    To venerate the simple days
    Which lead the seasons by,
    Needs but to remember
    That from you or me
    They may take the trifle
    Termed mortality!

    To invest existence with a stately air,
    Needs but to remember
    That the acorn there
    Is the egg of forests
    For the upper air!

  6. The Happiest Heart

    by John Vance Cheney

    Who drives the horses of the sun
    Shall lord it but a day;
    Better the lowly deed were done,
    And kept the humble way.

    The rust will find the sword of fame,
    The dust will hide the crown;
    Ay, none shall nail so high his name
    Time will not tear it down.

    The happiest heart that ever beat
    Was in some quiet breast
    That found the common daylight sweet,
    And left to Heaven the rest.

Related Poems