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Poems About Habits

Table of Contents

  1. Undergrowth by Douglas Malloch
  2. Bad Habits by E. F. Hayward
  3. A Builder's Lesson by John Boyle O'Reilly

  1. Undergrowth

    by Douglas Malloch

    It ain't the trees that block the trail,
    It ain't the ash or pine;
    For, if you fall or if you fail,
    It was some pesky vine
    That tripped you up, that threw you down,
    That caught you unawares:
    The big things you can walk aroun'—
    But watch the way for snares.

    In life it ain't the biggest things
    That make the hardest load;
    It ain't the burden big that brings
    Defeat upon the road.
    Some fault you hardly knew you had
    May hurt more than you think—
    Some little habit that is bad
    May put you on the blink.

  2. Bad Habits

    by E. F. Hayward

    Bad habits are hounds which you take in, and feed;
    You don't have to coax them at all;
    Just give them one meal, they'll return, that's their breed;
    You won't have to whistle or call.
    They will follow your tracks wherever you go,
    Although you have found you don't need them;
    They're right at your heels, be your gait fast or slow,
    They'll stay, as long as you feed them;
    They get active and strong, on the food they're fed,
    They think you're weak, so won't mind you;
    They run on ahead, and refuse to be led,—
    You'll seldom find them behind you.
    They hamper your speed, and are right in your way,
    When you hunt a job, they're around;
    But the man who would hire, and good wages pay,
    Don't want a man, led by a hound.
    You've tired of the hounds, and ashamed to be seen
    With dogs, which are stronger than you;
    You're sorry you fed them, they turned out so mean,
    But you did, so what can you do?
    There's one way to shake them; don't feed them a thing;
    Starvation will drive them away.
    When you know the trouble bad habits will bring,
    Starve them out; don't feed them one day.

  3. A Builder's Lesson

    by John Boyle O'Reilly

    "How shall I a habit break?”
    As you did that habit make.
    As you gathered, you must lose;
    As you yielded, now refuse.
    Thread by thread the strands we twist
    Till they bind us neck and wrist;
    Thread by thread the patient hand
    Must untwine ere free we stand.
    As we builded, stone by stone,
    We must toil unhelped, alone,
    Till the wall is overthrown.

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