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My never-failing friends are they,
With whom I converse day by day.

With them I take delight in weal,

And seek relief in woe;
And while I understand and feel

How much to them I owe,
My cheeks have often been bedewed
With tears of thoughtful gratitude.

My thoughts are with the Dead; with them

I live in long-past years,
Their virtues love, their faults condemn,

Partake their hopes and fears;
And from their lessons seek and find
Instruction with an humble mind.

My hopes are with the Dead; anon

My place with them will be,
And I with them shall travel on

Through all Futurity;
Yet leaving here a name, I trust,
That will not perish in the dust.

Robert Southey (1774-1843]

OPPORTUNITY

MASTER of human destinies am I!
Fame, love, and fortune on my footsteps wait.
Cities and fields I walk; I penetrate
Deserts and seas remote, and passing by
Hovel and mart and palace—soon or late
I knock unbidden once at every gate!

If sleeping, wake-if feasting, rise before
I turn away. It is the hour of fate,
And they who follow me reach every state
Mortals desire, and conquer every foe

Save death; but those who doubt or hesitate,
Condemned to failure, penury,

and

woe,
Seek me in vain and uselessly implore.
I answer not, and I return no more!

John James Ingalls (1833-1900)

OPPORTUNITY

They do me wrong who say I come no more

When once I knock and fail to find you in; For every day I stand outside your door

And bid you wake, and rise to fight and win.

Wail not for precious chances passed away!

Weep not for golden ages on the wane! Each night I burn the records of the day

At sunrise every soul is born again!

Dost thou behold thy lost youth all aghast?

Dost reel from righteous Retribution's blow? Then turn from blotted archives of the past

And find the future's pages white as snow.

Art thou a mourner? Rouse thee from thy spell;

Art thou a sinner? Sins may be forgiven; Each morning gives thee wings to flee from hell,

Each night a star to guide thy feet to heaven.

Laugh like a boy at splendors that have sped,

To vanished joys be blind and deaf and dumb; My judgments seal the dead past with its dead,

But never bind a moment yet to come.

Though deep in mire, wring not your hands and weep;

I lend my arm to all who say “I can!” No shame-faced outcast ever sank so deep But yet might rise and be again a man!

Walter Malone (1866–

OPPORTUNITY

This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:-
There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince's banner
Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
A craven hung along the battle's edge,
And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel-
That blue blade that the king's son bears,-but this
Blunt thing!” he snapped and flung it from his hand,
And lowering crept away and left the field.
Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887]

THE ARROW AND THE SONG

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.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882] CALUMNY

A WHISPER woke the air,

A soft, light tone, and low,

Yet barbed with shame and woe. Ah! might it only perish there,

Nor farther go!

But no! a quick and eager ear

Caught up the little, meaning sound;
Another voice has breathed it clear;

And so it wandered round
From ear to lip, from lip to ear,
Until it reached a gentle heart
That throbbed from all the world apart

And that-it broke!

It was the only heart it found, -
The only heart 'twas meant to find,

When first its accents woke.
It reached that gentle heart at last,
And that-it broke!

Frances Sargent Osgood (1811-1850)

THE EFFECT OF EXAMPLE

WE scatter seeds with careless hand,
And dream we ne'er shall see them more;

But for a thousand years

Their fruit appears, In weeds that mar the land,

Or healthful shore.

The deeds we do, the words we say, -
Into still air they seem to fleet,

We count them ever past;

But they shall last, In the dread judgment they

And we shall meet.

I charge thee by the years gone by,
For the love's sake of brethren dear,

Keep thou the one true way,

In work and play, Lest in that world their cry Of woe thou hear.

John Keble (1792–1866)

LITTLE AND GREAT

A TRAVELER on a dusty road

Strewed acorns on the lea;
And one took root and sprouted up,

And grew into a tree.
Love sought its shade at evening-time,

To breathe its early vows;
And Age was pleased, in heats of noon,

To bask beneath its boughs.
The dormouse loved its dangling twigs,

The birds sweet music bore
It stood a glory in its place,

A blessing evermore.

A little spring had lost its way

Amid the grass and fern;
A passing stranger scooped a well

Where weary men might turn;
He walled it in, and hung with care

A ladle at the brink;
He thought not of the deed he did,

But judged that Toil might drink.
He passed again; and lo! the well,

By summer never dried,
Had cooled ten thousand parched tongues,

And saved a life beside.

A dreamer dropped a random thought;

'Twas old, and yet 'twas new; A simple fancy of the brain,

But strong in being true.

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