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Poems About Choices

Table of Contents

  1. The Secret of It by Amos Russel Wells
  2. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
  3. The Broken Pinion by Hezekiah Butterworth
  4. Conscience and Future Judgement by Anonymous
  5. There Is a Difference by William Henry Dawson
  6. Who Killed the Plan? by Amos Russel Wells
  7. My Treasure by Arthur Weir
  8. Invictus by William Ernest Henley
  9. Foreboding by Ellen P. Allerton
  10. The Door by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

  1. The Secret of It

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "Where does the clerk of the weather store
    The days that are sunny and fair?"
    "In your heart is a room with a close shut door
    And all of those days are there."

    "Where does the clerk of the weather keep
    The days that are dreary and blue?"
    "In a second room in your heart they sleep,
    And you have the keys of the two."

    "And why are my days so often, I pray,
    Filled full of clouds and of gloom?"
    "Because you go at the break of day
    And open the wrong heart-room."

  2. The Road Not Taken

    by Robert Frost

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.

  3. The Broken Pinion

    by Hezekiah Butterworth

    I walked through the woodland meadows,
    Where sweet the thrushes sing;
    And I found on a bed of mosses
    A bird with a broken wing.
    I healed its wound, and each morning
    It sang its old sweet strain,
    But the bird with a broken pinion
    Never soared as high again.

    I found a young life broken
    By sin's seductive art;
    And touched with a Christlike pity,
    I took him to my heart.
    He lived with a noble purpose
    And struggled not in vain;
    But the life that sin had stricken
    Never soared as high again.

    But the bird with a broken pinion
    Kept another from the snare;
    And the life that sin had stricken
    Raised another from despair.
    Each loss has its compensation,
    There is healing for every pain;
    But the bird with a broken pinion
    Never soars as high again.

  4. Conscience and Future Judgement

    by Anonymous

    I sat alone with my conscience,
    In a place where time had ceased,
    And we talked of my former living
    In the land where the years increased;
    And I felt I should have to answer
    The question it might put to me,
    And to face the question and answer
    Throughout an eternity.

    The ghosts of forgotten actions
    Came floating before my sight,
    And things that I thought had perished
    Were alive with a terrible might;
    And the vision of life's dark record
    Was an awful thing to face—
    Alone with my conscience sitting
    In that solemnly silent place.

    And I thought of a far-away warning,
    Of a sorrow that was to be mine,
    In a land that then was the future,
    But now is the present time;
    And I thought of my former thinking
    Of the judgment day to be;
    But sitting alone with my conscience
    Seemed judgment enough for me.

    And I wondered if there was a future
    To this land beyond the grave;
    But no one gave me an answer
    And no one came to save.
    Then I felt that the future was present,
    And the present would never go by,
    For it was but the thought of a future
    Become an eternity.

    Then I woke from my timely dreaming,
    And the vision passed away;
    And I knew the far-away warning
    Was a warning of yesterday.
    And I pray that I may not forget it
    In this land before the grave,
    That I may not cry out in the future,
    And no one come to save.

    I have learned a solemn lesson
    Which I ought to have known before,
    And which, though I learned it dreaming,
    I hope to forget no more.

    So I sit alone with my conscience
    In the place where the years increase,
    And I try to fathom the future,
    In the land where time shall cease.
    And I know of the future judgment,
    How dreadful soe'er it be,
    That to sit alone with my conscience
    Will be judgment enough for me.

  5. There Is a Difference

    So, my friend, take my advice,
    Don't let me have to tell you twice,
    If you would ever happy be,
    Don't be sour with all you see,
    But be joyous, happy and free.

    – William Henry Dawson
    There Is a Difference
    by William Henry Dawson

    There is cause for many stings,
    In the way some folks do things,
    Some go at it "hammer 'n' tongs,"
    Some with curses, some with songs;
    But to each some trait belongs,

    Some have soured on everything,
    Can't find aught without a sting,
    There are others not so sour,
    Who find on every thorn a flower,
    And for good they are a power,

    As I've traveled life's pathway,
    I've found grumbling doesn't pay,
    Of the kicker folks have tired;
    He's no longer much admired,
    From good company he's been "fired,"

    As I walk along the street,
    I look for the good and sweet,
    All the sour ones I pass by,
    And the only reason why—
    I couldn't like them if I'd try,

    So, my friend, take my advice,
    Don't let me have to tell you twice,
    If you would ever happy be,
    Don't be sour with all you see,
    But be joyous, happy and free.

  6. Who Killed the Plan?

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Who killed the Plan?
    "I," said the Critic,
    "I knew how to hit it,
    I killed the Plan."

    Who killed the Plan?
    "I," the Bore said,
    "I talked it dead,
    I killed the Plan."

    Who killed the Plan?
    "I," said the Sloth,
    "I lagged and was loth.
    And I killed the Plan."

    Who killed the Plan?
    "I," said Ambition,
    "With my selfish vision
    I killed the Plan."

    Who killed the Plan?
    "I," said the Crank,
    "With my nonsense rank
    I killed the Plan."

  7. My Treasure

    "All one needs to be rich," I said,
    "Is to live that his past shall be
    Sweet in his thoughts, as a wild rose red,
    Eternally."

    – Arthur Weir
    My Treasure
    by Arthur Weir

    "What do you gather?" the maiden said,
    Shaking her sunlit curls at me—
    "See, these flowers I plucked are dead,
    Ah! misery."

    "What do you gather?" the miser said,
    Clinking his gold, as he spoke to me—
    "I cannot sleep at night for dread
    Of thieves," said he.

    "What do you gather?" the dreamer said,
    "I dream dreams of what is to be;
    Daylight comes, and my dreams are fled,
    Ah! woe is me."

    "What do you gather?" the young man said—
    "I seek fame for eternity,
    Toiling on while the world's abed,
    Alone," said he.

    "What do I gather?" I laughing said,
    "Nothing at all save memory,
    Sweet as flowers, but never dead,
    Like thine, Rosie."

    "I have no fear of thieves," I said,
    "Daylight kills not my reverie,
    Fame will find I am snug abed,
    That comes to me."

    "The past is my treasure, friends," I said,
    "Time but adds to my treasury,
    Happy moments are never fled
    Away from me."

    "All one needs to be rich," I said,
    "Is to live that his past shall be
    Sweet in his thoughts, as a wild rose red,
    Eternally."

  8. Invictus

    by William Ernest Henley

    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.

  9. Foreboding

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    I will not look for storms when skies are glowing,
    With hues of summer sunsets painted o'er;
    When all my tides of life are softly flowing,
    I will not listen for the breaker's roar.

    I will not search the future for its sorrows,
    Nor peer ahead for lions in the way,
    I will not weep o'er possible to-morrows—
    Sufficient is the evil of to-day.

  10. The Door

    by Jessie Belle Rittenhouse

    There was a door stood long ajar
    That one had left for me,
    While I went trying other doors
    To which I had no key.

    And when at last I turned to seek
    The refuge and the light,
    A gust of wind had shut the door
    And left me in the night.