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Poems for 7th Graders

Table of Contents

The Wind's Song
The Wind's Song
by Margaret Tarrant
  1. If I can stop one heart from breaking by Emily Dickinson
  2. No Man is an Island by John Donne
  3. The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers In New England by Felicia Dorothea Hemans
  4. Five Kernels of Corn by Hezekiah Butterworth
  5. The Arrow and the Song by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  6. Somebody Said it Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Albert Guest
  7. Molly Maguire at Monmouth by William Collins
  8. Betsy's Battle Flag by Minna Irving
  9. Casabianca by Felicia Dorthea Hemans
  10. Living on a Farm by Anonymous
  11. The Hens by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  12. The Windmill by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  13. A Time to Talk by Robert Frost
  14. The Village Blacksmith by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  15. Spinning Tow by Ellen P. Allerton
  16. Maud Muller by John Greenleaf Whittier
  17. The Pebble and the Acorn by Hannah Flagg Gould
  18. Seeds And Thoughts by Amos Russel Wells
  19. The Wreck of the Hesperus by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  20. A Red, Red Rose by Robert Burns
  21. Acquainted with the Night by Robert Frost
  22. O Worship the King by Robert Grant

  1. If I can stop one heart from breaking

    The First Grief
    The First Grief
    by Daniel Ridgway Knight
    by Emily Dickinson

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.

  2. No Man is an Island

    Gallows Island
    Gallows Island
    by Winslow Homer
    by John Donne

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself,
    Every man is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manor of thy friend's
    Or of thine own were:
    Any man's death diminishes me,
    Because I am involved in mankind,
    And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
    It tolls for thee.

    7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

    – Romans 14:7
  3. The Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers In New England

    The Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, 1620
    The Landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock, 1620
    by Peter F. Rothermel
    by Felicia Dorothea Hemans

    The breaking waves dash'd high
    On a stern and rock-bound coast,
    And the woods against a stormy sky
    Their giant branches toss'd;

    And the heavy night hung dark,
    The hills and waters o'er,
    When a band of exiles moor'd their bark
    On the wild New England shore.

    Not as the conqueror comes,
    They, the true-hearted, came;
    Not with the roll of the stirring drums,
    And the trumpet that sings of fame;

    Not as the flying come,
    In silence and in fear;—
    They shook the depths of the desert gloom
    With their hymns of lofty cheer.

    Amidst the storm they sang,
    And the stars heard and the sea:
    And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang
    To the anthem of the free!

    The ocean eagle soar'd
    From his nest by the white wave's foam
    And the rocking pines of the forest roar'd—
    This was their welcome home!

    There were men with hoary hair
    Amidst that pilgrim band:—
    Why had they come to wither there,
    Away from their childhood's land?

    There was woman's fearless eye,
    Lit by her deep love's truth;
    There was manhood's brow serenely high,
    And the fiery heart of youth.

    What sought they thus afar?
    Bright jewels of the mine?
    The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?
    They sought a faith's pure shrine!

    Ay, call it holy ground,
    The soil where first they trode.
    They have left unstained, what there they found
    Freedom to worship God.

  4. Five Kernels of Corn

    by Hezekiah Butterworth

    'Twas the year of the famine in Plymouth of old,
    The ice and the snow from the thatched roofs had rolled;
    Through the warm purple skies steered the geese o'er the seas,
    And the woodpeckers tapped in the clocks of the trees;
    And the boughs on the slopes to the south winds lay bare,
    and dreaming of summer, the buds swelled in the air.
    The pale Pilgrims welcomed each reddening morn;
    There were left but for rations Five Kernels of Corn.
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    But to Bradford a feast were Five Kernels of Corn!

    "Five Kernels of Corn! Five Kernels of Corn!
    Ye people, be glad for Five Kernels of Corn!"
    So Bradford cried out on bleak Burial Hill,
    And the thin women stood in their doors, white and still.
    "Lo, the harbor of Plymouth rolls bright in the Spring,
    The maples grow red, and the wood robins sing,
    The west wind is blowing, and fading the snow,
    And the pleasant pines sing, and arbutuses blow.
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    To each one be given Five Kernels of Corn!"

    O Bradford of Austerfield hast on thy way,
    The west winds are blowing o'er Provincetown Bay,
    The white avens bloom, but the pine domes are chill,
    And new graves have furrowed Precisioners' Hill!
    "Give thanks, all ye people, the warm skies have come,
    The hilltops are sunny, and green grows the holm,
    And the trumpets of winds, and the white March is gone,
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    Ye have for Thanksgiving Five Kernels of Corn!

    "The raven's gift eat and be humble and pray,
    A new light is breaking and Truth leads your way;
    One taper a thousand shall kindle; rejoice
    That to you has been given the wilderness voice!"
    O Bradford of Austerfield, daring the wave,
    And safe through the sounding blasts leading the brave,
    Of deeds such as thine was the free nation born,
    And the festal world sings the "Five Kernels of Corn."
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    Five Kernels of Corn!
    The nation gives thanks for Five Kernels of Corn!
    To the Thanksgiving Feast bring Five Kernels of Corn!

    Out of small beginnings great things have been produced, as one small candle may light a thousand.

    – William Bradford
    Governor of Plymouth Colony
  5. The Arrow and the Song

    The Good Luck Arrow
    The Good Luck Arrow
    by Edwin Willard Deming
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I shot an arrow into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow it in its flight.

    I breathed a song into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For who has sight so keen and strong,
    That it can follow the flight of song?

    Long, long afterward, in an oak
    I found the arrow, still unbroke;
    And the song, from beginning to end,
    I found again in the heart of a friend.

  6. Somebody Said it Couldn't Be Done

    by Edgar Albert Guest

    Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
    But he with a chuckle replied
    That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
    So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

    Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one ever has done it;”
    But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
    With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
    He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

    There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure,
    There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
    But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
    Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
    That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

  7. Molly Maguire at Monmouth

    Artist Unknown
    Artist Unknown
    by Anonymous

     Full Text

    On the bloody field of Monmouth
    Flashed the guns of Greene and Wayne,
    Fiercely roared the tide of battle,
    Thick the sward was heaped with slain.
    Foremost, facing death and danger,
    Hessian, horse, and grenadier,
    In the vanguard, fiercely fighting,
    Stood an Irish Cannonier.

    Loudly roared his iron cannon,
    Mingling ever in the strife,
    And beside him, firm and daring,
    Stood his faithful Irish wife.
    Of her bold contempt of danger
    Greene and Lee’s Brigades could tell,
    Every one knew “Captain Molly,”
    And the army loved her well.

    Surged the roar of battle round them,
    Swiftly flew the iron hail,
    Forward dashed a thousand bayonets,
    That lone battery to assail.
    From the foeman’s foremost columns
    Swept a furious fusillade,
    Mowing down the massed battalions
    In the ranks of Greene’s Brigade.

    Fast and faster worked the gunner,
    Soiled with powder, blood, and dust,
    English bayonets shone before him,
    Shot and shell around him burst;
    Still he fought with reckless daring,
    Stood and manned her long and well,
    Till at last the gallant fellow
    Dead—beside his cannon fell.

    With a bitter cry of sorrow,
    And a dark and angry frown,
    Looked that band of gallant patriots
    At their gunner stricken down.
    “Fall back, comrades, it is folly
    Thus to strive against the foe.”
    “No! not so,” cried Irish Molly,
    “We can strike another blow.”

    Quickly leaped she to the cannon,
    In her fallen husband’s place,
    Sponged and rammed it fast and steady,
    Fired it in the foeman’s face.
    Flashed another ringing volley,
    Roared another from the gun;
    “Boys, hurrah!” cried gallant Molly,
    “For the flag of Washington.”

    Greene’s Brigade, though torn and shattered,
    Slain and bleeding half their men,
    When they heard that Irish slogan,
    Turned and charged the foe again.
    Knox and Wayne and Morgan rally,
    To the front they forward wheel,
    And before their rushing onset
    Clinton’s English columns reel.

    Still the cannon’s voice in anger
    Rolled and rattled o’er the plain,
    Till there lay in swarms around it
    Mangled heaps of Hessian slain.
    “Forward! charge them with the bayonet!”
    ’T was the voice of Washington,
    And there burst a fiery greeting
    From the Irish woman’s gun.

    Monckton falls; against his columns
    Leap the troops of Mayne and Lee,
    And before their reeking bayonets
    Clinton’s red battalions flee.
    Morgan’s rifles, fiercely flashing,
    Thin the foe’s retreating ranks,
    And behind them onward dashing
    Ogden hovers on their flanks.

    Fast they fly, these boasting Britons,
    Who in all their glory came,
    With their brutal Hessian hirelings
    To wipe out our country’s name.
    Proudly floats the starry banner,
    Monmouth’s glorious field is won,
    And in triumph Irish Molly
    Stands beside her smoking gun.

  8. Betsy's Battle Flag

    Betsy Ross, 1777
    Betsy Ross, 1777
    by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris
    by Minna Irving

     Full Text

    From dusk till dawn the livelong night
    She kept the tallow dips alight,
    And fast her nimble fingers flew
    To sew the stars upon the blue.
    With weary eyes and aching head
    She stitched the stripes of white and red,
    And when the day came up the stair
    Complete across a carven chair
    Hung Betsy’s battle flag.

    Like shadows in the evening gray
    The Continentals filed away,
    With broken boots and ragged coats,
    But hoarse defiance in their throats;
    They bore the marks of want and cold,
    And some were lame and some were old,
    And some with wounds untended bled,
    But floating bravely overhead
    Was Betsy’s battle flag.

    When fell the battle’s leaden rain,
    The soldier hushed his moans of pain
    And raised his dying head to see
    King George’s troopers turn and flee.
    Their charging column reeled and broke,
    And vanished in the rolling smoke,
    Before the glory of the stars,
    The snowy stripes, and scarlet bars
    Of Betsy’s battle flag.

    The simple stone of Betsy Ross
    Is covered now with mold and moss,
    But still her deathless banner flies,
    And keeps the color of the skies.
    A nation thrills, a nation bleeds,
    A nation follows where it leads,
    And every man is proud to yield
    His life upon a crimson field
    For Betsy’s battle flag!

  9. Casabianca

    The Destruction of 'L'Orient' at the Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798
    The Destruction of "L'Orient" at the Battle of the Nile, 1 August 1798
    by George Arnald
    by Felicia Dorthea Hemans

    The boy stood on the burning deck,
    Whence all but him had fled;
    The flame that lit the battle's wreck
    Shone round him o'er the dead.

    Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
    As born to rule the storm;
    A creature of heroic blood,
    A proud though childlike form.

    The flames rolled on—he would not go
    Without his father's word;
    That father, faint in death below,
    His voice no longer heard.

    He called aloud, "Say, father, say
    If yet my task is done?"
    He knew not that the chieftain lay
    Unconscious of his son.

    "Speak, father!" once again he cried,
    "If I may yet be gone!"
    And but the booming shots replied,
    And fast the flames rolled on.

    Upon his brow he felt their breath,
    And in his waving hair;
    And looked from that lone post of death
    In still, yet brave despair.

    And shouted but once more aloud
    "My father! must I stay?"
    While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,
    The wreathing fires made way.

    They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,
    They caught the flag on high,
    And streamed above the gallant child
    Like banners in the sky.

    Then came a burst of thunder sound—
    The boy—oh! where was he?
    —Ask of the winds that far around
    With fragments strew the sea;

    With mast, and helm, and pennon fair.
    That well had borne their part—
    But the noblest thing that perished there
    Was that young, faithful heart.

  10. Living on a Farm

    by Anonymous

    How brightly through the mist of years,
    My quiet country home appears!
    My father busy all the day
    In plowing corn or raking hay;
    My mother moving with delight
    Among the milk pans, silver-bright;
    We children, just from school set free,
    Filling the garden with our glee.
    The blood of life was flowing warm
    When I was living on a farm.

    I hear the sweet churchgoing bell,
    As o'er the fields its music fell,
    I see the country neighbors round
    Gathering beneath the pleasant sound;
    They stop awhile beside the door,
    To talk their homely matters o'er
    The springing corn, the ripening grain,
    And "how we need a little rain;"
    "A little sun would do no harm,
    We want good weather for the farm."

    When autumn came, what joy to see
    The gathering of the husking bee,
    To hear the voices keeping tune,
    Of girls and boys beneath the moon,
    To mark the golden corn ears bright,
    More golden in the yellow light!
    Since I have learned the ways of men,
    I often turn to these again,
    And feel life wore its highest charm.
    When I was living on the farm.

  11. The Hens

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    The night was coming very fast;
    It reached the gate as I ran past.

    The pigeons had gone to the tower of the church
    And all the hens were on their perch,

    Up in the barn, and I thought I heard
    A piece of a little purring word.

    I stopped inside, waiting and staying,
    To try to hear what the hens were saying.

    They were asking something, that was plain,
    Asking it over and over again.

    One of them moved and turned around,
    Her feathers made a ruffled sound,

    A ruffled sound, like a bushful of birds,
    And she said her little asking words.

    She pushed her head close into her wing,
    But nothing answered anything.

  12. The Windmill

    A Windmill in the Country
    A Windmill in the Country
    by Carl Forup
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    The summer sun is sinking low;
    Only the tree-tops redden and glow:
    Only the weathercock on the spire
    Of the neighboring church is a flame of fire;
    All is in shadow below.

    O beautiful, awful summer day,
    What hast thou given, what taken away?
    Life and death, and love and hate,
    Homes made happy or desolate,
    Hearts made sad or gay!

    On the road of life one mile-stone more!
    In the book of life one leaf turned o'er!
    Like a red seal is the setting sun
    On the good and the evil men have done,—
    Naught can to-day restore!

    Behold! a giant am I!
    Aloft here in my tower,
    With my granite jaws I devour
    The maize, and the wheat, and the rye,
    And grind them into flour.

    I look down over the farms;
    In the fields of grain I see
    The harvest that is to be,
    And I fling to the air my arms,
    For I know it is all for me.

    I hear the sound of flails
    Far off, from the threshing-floors
    In barns, with their open doors,
    And the wind, the wind in my sails,
    Louder and louder roars.

    I stand here in my place,
    With my foot on the rock below,
    And whichever way it may blow,
    I meet it face to face,
    As a brave man meets his foe.

    And while we wrestle and strive,
    My master, the miller, stands
    And feeds me with his hands;
    For he knows who makes him thrive,
    Who makes him lord of lands.

    On Sundays I take my rest;
    Church-going bells begin
    Their low, melodious din;
    I cross my arms on my breast,
    And all is peace within.

  13. A Time to Talk

    Discussing the Harvest
    Discussing the Harvest
    by David Farquharson
    by Robert Frost

    When a friend calls to me from the road
    And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
    I don’t stand still and look around
    On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
    And shout from where I am, What is it?
    No, not as there is a time to talk.
    I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
    Blade-end up and five feet tall,
    And plod: I go up to the stone wall
    For a friendly visit.

  14. The Village Blacksmith

    The Village Blacksmith in His Smithy
    The Village Blacksmith in His Smithy
    by Herbert Dicksee
    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Under a spreading chestnut-tree
    The village smithy stands;
    The smith, a mighty man is he,
    With large and sinewy hands;
    And the muscles of his brawny arms
    Are strong as iron bands.

    His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
    His face is like the tan;
    His brow is wet with honest sweat,
    He earns whate'er he can,
    And looks the whole world in the face,
    For he owes not any man.

    Week in, week out, from morn till night,
    You can hear his bellows blow;
    You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
    With measured beat and slow,
    Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
    When the evening sun is low.

    And children coming home from school
    Look in at the open door;
    They love to see the flaming forge,
    And bear the bellows roar,
    And catch the burning sparks that fly
    Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

    He goes on Sunday to the church,
    And sits among his boys;
    He hears the parson pray and preach,
    He hears his daughter's voice,
    Singing in the village choir,
    And it makes his heart rejoice.

    It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
    Singing in Paradise!
    He needs must think of her once more,
    How in the grave she lies;
    And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
    A tear out of his eyes.

    Onward through life he goes;
    Each morning sees some task begin,
    Each evening sees it close
    Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night's repose.

    Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
    For the lesson thou hast taught!
    Thus at the flaming forge of life
    Our fortunes must be wrought;
    Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
    Each burning deed and thought.

  15. Spinning Tow

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    A little maiden with braided hair
    Walks to and fro
    Before a wheel. What does she there?
    The child is spinning tow.

    In through the open window comes
    The scented breeze;
    With drowsy wing the wild bee hums
    Out in the orchard trees.

    The blue sky bends, the flowers are sweet,
    As children know;
    Yet with deft hands and steady feet,
    This child keeps spinning tow,

    Still works she; steady mounts the sun
    Through the skies of May,—
    The small task ends; the skein is spun;
    The girl bounds out to play.

    She learns life's lesson young you say?
    'Tis better so.
    That life is toil as well as play,
    She learns here spinning tow.

    Years pass. Beside her own hearthstone
    A woman stands
    With steady eye and cheerful tone,
    Brave heart and willing hands.

    This matron, who on household ways
    Glides to and fro,
    Learned when a child, on soft spring days,
    Life's lesson, spinning tow.

  16. Maud Muller

    A Young Woman in the Meadow
    A Young Woman in the Meadow
    by Hans Dahl
    by John Greenleaf Whittier

    Maud Muller, on a summer's day,
    Raked the meadow sweet with hay.

    Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
    Of simple beauty and rustic health.

    Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
    The mock-bird echoed from his tree.

    But when she glanced to the far-off town,
    White from its hill-slope looking down,

    The sweet song died, and a vague unrest
    And a nameless longing filled her breast,—

    A wish that she hardly dared to own,
    For something better than she had known.

    The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
    Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

    He drew his bridle in the shade
    Of the apple-trees to greet the maid,

    And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
    Through the meadow across the road.

    She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
    And filled for him her small tin cup,

    And blushed as she gave it, looking down
    On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.

    "Thanks!" said the Judge; "a sweeter draught
    From a fairer hand was never quaffed."

    He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
    Of the singing birds and the humming bees;

    Then talked of the haying, and wondered whether
    The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.

    And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown
    And her graceful ankles bare and brown;

    And listened, while a pleased surprise
    Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.

    At last, like one who for delay
    Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.

    Maud Muller looked and sighed: "Ah me!
    That I the Judge's bride might be!

    "He would dress me up in silks so fine,
    And praise and toast me at his wine.

    "My father should wear a broadcloth coat;
    My brother should sail a painted boat.

    "I'd dress my mother so grand and gay,
    And the baby should have a new toy each day.

    "And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor,
    And all should bless me who left our door."

    The Judge looked back as he climbed the hill,
    And saw Maud Muller standing still.

    "A form more fair, a face more sweet,
    Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet.

    "And her modest answer and graceful air
    Show her wise and good as she is fair.

    "And her modest answer and graceful air
    Show her wise and good as she is fair.

    "No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
    Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,

    "But low of cattle and song of birds,
    And health and quiet and loving words."

    But he thought of his sisters proud and cold,
    And his mother vain of her rank and gold.

    So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
    And Maud was left in the field alone.

    But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
    When he hummed in court an old love-tune;

    And the young girl mused beside the well,
    Till the rain on the unraked clover fell.

    He wedded a wife of richest dower,
    Who lived for fashion, as he for power.

    Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
    He watched a picture come and go;

    And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes
    Looked out in their innocent surprise.

    Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
    He longed for the wayside well instead;

    And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms
    To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

    And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain,
    "Ah, that I were free again!

    "Free as when I rode that day,
    Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."

    She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
    And many children played round her door.

    But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain, Left their traces on heart and brain.

    And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
    On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,

    And she heard the little spring brook fall
    Over the roadside, through the wall,

    In the shade of the apple-tree again
    She saw a rider draw his rein.

    And, gazing down with timid grace,
    She felt his pleased eyes read her face.

    Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
    Stretched away into stately halls;

    The weary wheel to a spinet turned,
    The tallow candle an astral burned,

    And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
    Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug,

    A manly form at her side she saw,
    And joy was duty and love was law.

    Then she took up her burden of life again,
    Saying only, "It might have been."

    Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
    For rich repiner and household drudge!

    God pity them both! and pity us all, Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.

    For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
    The saddest are these: "It might have been!"

    Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
    Deeply buried from human eyes;

    And, in the hereafter, angels may
    Roll the stone from its grave away!

  17. 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.

  18. Seeds And Thoughts

    by Anonymous

    Who plants a seed, he little knows
    What warm arousing light is lit,
    What spring of living water flows,
    What forces leap to nurture it.

    Who plants a seed, what thought has he
    Of timid sprout, of leaflets young.
    Of sturdy trunk and branching tree,
    Of noble forest far outflung?

    What dream has he who plants a seed
    Of blossoms ravishing the air,
    Of shade that cools, of fruits that feed,
    Of agelong blessings hidden there?

    And he who plants the seed of thought,
    Some eager truth, some daring plan,
    Never he knows what he has wrought
    Of never-ending good to man.

    Through subtle channels winding swift
    The foodful currents gladly run,
    And all the heavens bring their gift
    Of tender breezes, rain, and sun.

    It feels the elemental fears,
    The frost the storm the barren skies;
    And yet throughout the growing years
    Its roots extend, its branches rise;

    Until, one knows not how or when,
    Through all the world the thought has spread,
    And myriads of grateful men
    Pluck from the branches overhead.

    Oh, happy he who plants a seed
    With promises of fruitage fraught;
    But his a happier, holier deed
    Who plants in human souls a thought.

  19. The Wreck of the Hesperus

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    It was the schooner Hesperus,
    That sailed the wintry sea;
    And the skipper had taken his little daughter,
    To bear him company.

    Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,
    Her checks like the dawn of day,
    And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds,
    That ope in the month of May.

    The skipper, he stood beside the helm,
    His pipe was in his mouth,
    And he watched how the veering flaw did blow
    The smoke now west, now south.

    Then up and spake an old sailor,
    Had sailed to the Spanish Main,
    "I pray thee, put into yonder port,
    For I fear the hurricane.

    "Last night, the moon had a golden ring,
    And to-night no moon we see!"
    The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe,
    And a scornful laugh laughed he.

    Colder and louder blew the wind,
    A gale from the northeast;
    The snow fell hissing in the brine,
    And the billows frothed like yeast.

    Down came the storm, and smote amain
    The vessel in its strength;
    She shuddered and paused, like a frighted steed,
    Then leaped her cable's length.

    "Come hither! come hither! my little daughter,
    And do not tremble so;
    For I can weather the roughest gale
    That ever wind did blow."

    He wrapped her warm in his seaman's coat,
    Against the stinging blast:
    He cut a rope from a broken spar,
    And bound her to the mast.

    "O father! I hear the church bells ring,
    Oh say, what may it be?"
    "'Tis a fog bell on a rock-bound coast!"
    And he steered for the open sea.

    "O father! I hear the sound of guns,
    Oh say, what may it be?"
    "Some ship in distress, that can not live
    In such an angry sea!"

    "O father! I see a gleaming light,
    Oh say, what may it be?"
    But the father answered never a word,
    A frozen corpse was he.

    Lashed to the helm, all stiff and stark,
    With his face turned to the skies,
    The lantern gleamed through the gleaming snow
    On his fixed and glassy eyes.

    Then the maiden clasped her hands, and prayed
    That saved she might be;
    And she thought of Christ, who stilled the wave
    On the lake of Galilee.

    And fast through the midnight dark and drear,
    Through the whistling sleet and snow,
    Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept
    Tow'rds the reef of Norman's Woe.

    And ever the fitful gusts between
    A sound came from the land:
    It was the sound of the trampling surf
    On the rocks and the hard sea sand.

    The breakers were right beneath her bows,
    She drifted a dreary wreck,
    And a whooping billow swept the crew
    Like icicles from her deck.

    She struck where the white and fleecy waves
    Looked soft as carded wool,
    But the cruel rocks, they gored her side
    Like the horns of an angry bull.

    Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in ice,
    With the masts, went by the board;
    Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank,
    Ho! ho! the breakers roared!

    At day break, on the bleak seabeach,
    A fisherman stood aghast,
    To see the form of a maiden fair
    Lashed close to a drifting mast.

    The salt sea was frozen on her breast,
    The salt tears in her eyes;
    And he saw her hair, like the brown seaweed,
    On the billows fall and rise.

    Such was the wreck of the Hesperus
    In the midnight and the snow:
    Heav'n save us all from a death like this
    On the reef of Norman's Woe!

  20. A Red, Red Rose

    Jacqueminot Roses
    Jacqueminot Roses
    by Martin Johnson Heade
    by Robert Burns

    O my Luve is like a red, red rose
    That’s newly sprung in June;
    O my Luve is like the melody
    That’s sweetly played in tune.

    So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
    So deep in luve am I;
    And I will luve thee still, my dear,
    Till a’ the seas gang dry.

    Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
    And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
    I will love thee still, my dear,
    While the sands o’ life shall run.

    And fare thee weel, my only luve!
    And fare thee weel awhile!
    And I will come again, my luve,
    Though it were ten thousand mile.

  21. Acquainted with the Night

    Heath Street, Hampstead
    Heath Street, Hampstead
    by John Atkinson Grimshaw
    by Robert Frost

    I have been one acquainted with the night.
    I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
    I have outwalked the furthest city light.

    I have looked down the saddest city lane.
    I have passed by the watchman on his beat
    And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

    I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
    When far away an interrupted cry
    Came over houses from another street,

    But not to call me back or say good-bye;
    And further still at an unearthly height,
    One luminary clock against the sky

    Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
    I have been one acquainted with the night.

  22. O Worship the King

    by Robert Grant

    O worship the King
    All glorious above,
    O gratefully sing
    His power and his love—
    Our shield and defender,
    The ancient of days,
    Pavilion'd in splendour,
    And girded with praise.

    Oh tell of his might,
    O sing of his grace,
    Whose robe is the light,
    Whose canopy space.
    His chariots of wrath
    Deep thunder-clouds form,
    And dark is his path
    On the wings of the storm.

    This earth, with its store
    Of wonders untold,
    Almighty! thy power
    Hath founded of old;
    Hath stablish'd it fast
    By a changeless decree,
    And round it hath cast,
    Like a mantle, the sea.

    Thy bountiful care
    What tongue can recite?
    It breathes in the air,
    It shines in the light:
    It streams from the hills,
    It descends to the plain,
    And sweetly distils
    In the dew and the rain.

    Frail children of dust,
    And feeble as frail,
    In thee do we trust,
    Nor find thee to fail:
    Thy mercies how tender!
    How firm to the end!
    Our Maker, Defender,
    Redeemer, and Friend!

    O measureless might!
    Ineffable Love!
    While angels delight
    To hymn thee above,
    The humbler creation,
    Tho' feeble their lays,
    With true adoration
    Shall lisp to thy praise

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