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A little faith, in days of change,
True it is that we cannot claim
“A LITTLE WORK”
A LITTLE work, a little play
A little warmth, a little light
A little fun, to match the sorrow
A little trust that when we die
George du Maurier (1834–1896) THE CONDUCT OF LIFE
INTEGER VITÆ *
THE man of life upright,
Whose guiltless heart is free
Or thought of vanity;
The man whose silent days
In harmless joys are spent,
Nor sorrow discontent;
That man needs neither towers
Nor armor for defense,
From thunder's violence:
He only can behold
With unaffrighted eyes
And terrors of the skies.
Thus, scorning all the cares
That fate or fortune brings,
His wisdom heavenly things;
Good thoughts his only friends,
His wealth a well-spent age,
After Horace, by Thomas Campion [?-1616;
* For the original of this poem see page 3578.
THE CHAMBERED NAUTILUS
From "The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table"
This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
Sails the unshadowed main,
The venturous bark that flings
And coral reefs lie bare,
Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
And every chambered cell,
Before thee lies revealed, -
Year after year beheld the silent toil
That spread his lustrous coil;
Still, as the spiral grew,
its idle door, Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.
Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
While on mine ear it rings,
Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Till thou at length art free,
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)
A PSALM OF LIFE
WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!-
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
We can make our lives sublime,
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882]
The shades of night were falling fast,
His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
In happy homes he saw the light
“Try not the Pass!” the old man said; “Dark lowers the tempest overhead, The roaring torrent is deep and wide!” And loud that clarion voice replied,
“Oh stay,” the maiden said, “and rest