The path to tranquility is through virtue
Virtuous poems will arouse the conscience and awaken the heart, the mind and the soul.
Remember; "A man who is wise and learned, but without virtue, shall be despised". So choose a virtuous poem and learn from it and share them with your young ones. Through our children, this world could be a better place.
Basic Human Rights
- The right to feel good about yourself.
- The right to act in ways that promote dignity and self respect, as long as the rights of others are not violated.
- The right to be treated with respect.
- The right to say no and not feel guilty
- The right to experience and express your feelings.
- The right to slow down and think.
- The right to change your mind.
- The right to ask for what you want.
- The right to do less than what your are humanly capable of doing.
- The right to ask for information.
- The right to make mistakes.
- The right to be forgiven.
I did a favour yesterday,
A kindly little deed…
And then I called to all the world
To stop and look and heed.
They stopped and looked and flattened me
In words I could not trust,
And when the world had gone away
My good deed turned to dust.
A very tiny courtesy
I found to do today;
T’was quickly done, with none to see,
And then I ran away…
But someone must have witnessed it,
For–truly I declare–
As I sped back the stony path
Roses were blooming there!
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!–
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each tomorrow
Find us farther than today.
Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main.
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Prayer Found in Chester Cathedral
Give me good digestion, Lord,
And also something to digest;
Give me a healthy body, Lord,
With sense to keep it at its best.
Give me a healthy mind, good Lord,
To keep the pure and good in sight;
Which, seeing sin, is not applauded,
But find a way to set it right.
Give me a mind that is not bored,
That does not whimper, wine and sigh;
Don’t let me worry overmuch
About the fussy thing called “I”.
Give me a sense of humour, Lord,
Give the grace to see a joke;
To get some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folk.
Oh, let me discover an island,
Untouched, and uncluttered, and pure
A haven from all demonstrations,
From smouldering hatred and war.
With a clear, lovely view if the heavens,
That no one will grasp and destroy
My own special Garden of Eden,
With simple and “close-to-God” joy.
Where sea-birds fly high o’er the ocean.
To float on the breeze in their glee,
Then, settled to rest when they’re wearied
To be rocked in the arms of the sea.
Where the ‘rat-race’ of modern day living,
Shares no part in this haven I’ve found,
Where the hope of a thousand tomorrows,
Is born in the wonders around.
Where butterflies flirt with the flowers,
And when come the night...way up there
The stars hang, suspended from Heaven,
Like diamond, to touch if I’d dare.
That tired, worn-out game “Let’s pretend”,
To be loved for one’s own simple virtues,
And no “dangling strings” to a friend.
No discord, no noise of the city,
No discontent born out of greed,
Just peace, perfect peace and fulfilment,
No crazy demands one must heed.
Oh, let me discover my island,
Where tree tower stately and tall,
To escape, in one Heaven-sent moment,
And. . . just get away from it all!
Don't Always Speak Your Mind
The truthful folk aren’t hard to find,
The ones who always speak their minds,
That takes a sort of tactless pride,
In seeing things you’d like to hide…
It’s queer…somehow they always do
See all the glaring faults in you.
The frock you were so proud to wear,
The one you’d chosen with such care,
Well, need they knock you in a heap
By asking if you got it cheap?
And need they very loudly bellow:
“The colour makes your skin look yellow!”
And need they very smugly say:
“My dear your hair is turning grey!”
And then not quite content with that,
They tell you that you’re getting fat!
Oh, Life would be so very nice,
If all the tactless one thought twice,
And set your spirits soaring high,
By telling just a teeny lie.
Let’s face it, once you’re past your youth,
It’s hard to hear the naked truth.
I like the tactful folk that praise,
And see life through a rosy haze,
For there are lots of time, forsooth,
It’s kinder not to tell the truth!
I lived with people as a child
Who were well respected folk.
To the public eye well bred and mild;
It was obvious when they spoke.
They gave their money to the parish
When collection time came round;
Nothing was too much or lavish,
They both felt duty bound.
But back at home behind closed doors
They really showed their form.
They said to me, “Obey our laws
Or you’ll wish that you weren’t born.”
To use their bath caused great concern -
They said I must be clean -
But so they wouldn’t catch my germs
They scrubbed it with kerosene.
I never sat with them at tea;
I knew my place of course,
A turned up fruit case for a seat
Out on the old back porch.
The times they spoke or smiled at me
Were few and far between.
I think they were born to be
Just hard and cruel and mean.
No one doubted sincerity,
So their name was not defiled.
They were pillars of the community
But they couldn’t love this child.
I’ve found a little remedy
To ease the life we live
And make each day a happier one–
It is the word ‘forgive’.
So often little things come up
That leaves a pain and sting,
That covered up that once would not
Amount to anything.
‘Tis when we hold them up to view,
And brood and sulk and fret,
They greater grow before our eyes;
‘Twere better to forget.
Giving Your Best
It’s the hand we clasp with an honest grasp
That gives a hearty thrill;
It’s the good we pour into others’ lives
That comes back our own to fill.
It’s the dregs we drain from another’s cup
That makes our seem sweet;
And the hours we give to another’s needs
That makes our life complete.
It’s the burdens we help another bear
That makes our own seem light.
It’s the anger seen for another’s feet
That shows us the path to right.
It’s the good we do each passing day.
With heart sincere and true;
In giving the world your very best
Its best will return to you.
“Oh, children, you are dirty,
Why couldn’t you stay clean?
I’ve just this minute changed you
And you’re not fit to be seen!”
And thus I growled and grumbled;
But Granny’s, worldly wise,
Said, “Let them play in dirt, my dear,
And let them make mud pies.
It’s only right and natural
A little child should play.
It’s only when they very sick
They’ll keep clean all day.
And there’s a little saying,
Which I find is very true,
That Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.
So let them make their little pies,
And let them stack the coals;
The folk that have the grimy hands,
Oft have the whitest souls.
And if you need a helping hand,
It’s often times I’ve seen,
The hands that do the helping,
Are the hands that aren’t too clean!”
Oh, how I yearn for yesteryear
When all our Grans were young,
When families gathered after tea
And favourite songs were sung,
When every night, was read aloud
Chapters from a classic book,
And mothers sat at embroidery
With a handmade crocheting hook,
And tiny ones’ minds grown dim
They’d kneel and ask God’s blessing
And forgiveness for each little sin.
Oh! I realize that we all must grow old,
And years like old clothes are shed;
But how sorry I feel for youngsters today
Who are told: “Be quiet, or go off to bed!”
No cultural interests given, are they,
And mothers no longer darn sox,
And Dads now yell out each night after tea:
“Say, what’s on the idiot box?”
Poor little daughters and sad little sons
And what do their future hold?
Am I some strange kind of modern young mum
Who yearns for Gran’s days of old?
He Who Cast A Stone
I stood beside the river. . .
It was quiet and calm and still,
When someone cast a stone
into the water. . .as folks will;
With a tiny splash it landed,
Then, quickly sank below,
But it broke the peaceful silence,
And the water’s gentle flow.
Then the splash became a ripple,
That extended far and wide,
‘Till its ever spreading current
Touched the banks on either side.
And I idly started thinking. . .
It was so akin to life,
For one word, unwisely spoken,
May stir up so much strife.
If a stone can stir a river,
From its gentle peace and calm,
So too, a word that’s utter,
Can create a lot of harm,
And like the rippling water,
It spreads from shore to shore,
To start a million tear-drops,
To close a friendly door.
And no matter who may wish it,
One never may recall,
The words that spread like ripples,
That may cause another’s fall.
For who may stem a river,
Or halt the ocean’s tide,
Or halt the storm that rages,
Across the countryside?
Oh, let he who knows perfection,
Feel free to cast a stone,
Then surely, we may never see,
Another pebble thrown!
My mother always said to me,
(My training p’raps to boost),
“Beware of slighting words my dear,
For hens come home to roost.”
Ah! That was many years ago,
But I have since observed,
How folk with slurring tongues have reaped,
The fate that they deserve.
They have been well meaning folk,
Who never even thought,
That to a heart already sad,
An added grieve they brought.
Perhaps they saw a peg-leg man,
And thought it was a joke,
While he, alas went on his way,
And bore his heavy yoke.
“As deaf as any post,” they said,
“Blind as any bat,
As mad as any rabbit is,”
Or unkind words like that.
The road is young, the way is hard,
And youth will have its fling,
Scarce heeding in its joyous flight,
What future will they bring?
But hens come home to roost, my dear,
It always seems to me;
“Tis well to give a little thought,
On what your fate may be.
The scene was one of violence,
Of hatred stark and cruel,
When integration started,
At an all-white Southern School,
Two girls sat close together,
One black, the other, white.
Terrified and trembling,
They both held hands in fright,
To them it seemed so hopeless –
Yet on that dreadful day –
These two small girls, in innocence,
Had surely shown the way.
If only men, such love could show,
This wrong would be put right,
All problems solved, if only men,
Would hold hands instead of fight.
Let’s hope the time will come, and soon,
When men will learn the art
Of feeling one another’s hurt,
Not trying to break his heart.
If man would learn this lesson,
And his children also guide,
He’d help his fellow man maintain
His dignity and pride.
Miss E. Beard
I’ll Cry My Tears Tomorrow
I’ll cry my tears tomorrow,
If I fail myself today.
I cannot bear the burden
If my feet are only clay . . .
For wherever Life may lead me,
I know I have to be
The kind of honest “someone”,
Who can find respect for me.
I cannot face tomorrow
If I find today is spent,
In following a footpath
That is sadly, badly bent;
And tho' none would know my secret,
That I’d safely keep inside,
I’d see me very clearly,
With my two eyes opened wide.
I want to know tomorrow,
If perchance I reach my goal;
I’ll see the smile of pleasure
Proudly mirrored in my soul.
I may not rise to greatness,
But myself I’ll not despise,
When I face myself each morning,
With clear and trusting eyes.
I’ll cry my tears tomorrow
If I fail in all I do,
To be the kind of “someone”
Who is proud to know me too;
For I’d rather be a “nothing”
And to tell myself: “Well Done”,
Than to succeed, to find my footprints
Left behind . . . on everyone!
It’s Just the Way
It’s just the way you look at things,
That makes them good or bad,
It’s just the way you look at men,
That makes them sane or mad,
Life’s just the way you think it is,
It sings if you will sing.
The thing itself is nothing much. . .
The view is everything.
It’s just the way you look at things,
And why not with a grin?
It’s mostly just your own darn fault,
If time seems sometimes thin,
For never comes there trouble,
That can live with cheerful heart,
But once you start to think your stiff,
It’s there the stiffness starts.
It’s just the way you look at things,
That chap that you despise,
Because of something that he’s done
That’s wicked in your eyes,
May think the same of you, you know,
For what you do not do,
And perhaps to other people,
He’s a better man than you.
Don’t judge too quickly–try to judge
The other’s fellow’s side,
Too many as it is, there are,
Among the great “one-eyed.”
It’s just the way you look at things,
That makes them wrong or right,
It’s just the way you live your life,
That makes it dull or bright.
Make the Most of Life
If you have shared another’s load
Or eased another’s pain,
If you have soothed another’s soul
Life has not been in vain.
If you have cheered another’s heart,
Or made a sad face smile,
If you have calmed another’s fears
Your life has been worthwhile.
If you have said a tender word
Or dried another’s tears,
If you have spread your share of love
Then you’ve been needed here.
If you have lent a helping hand
Through times of care and strife,
If you have done a little good
You’ve made the most of life.
Little grandchild on my knee
You are so very special to me.
You mark the start of a new generation,
I have for you such high expectation.
I made a wish for you at you birth,
To welcome your coming here on this earth.
I didn’t wish for material things,
Just for a life that true happiness brings.
I wished for you a childhood of fun,
A mind as bright as the morning sun,
Limbs as strong as the old oak tree,
A heart beating sound, yet compassionately;
Forgiveness to those that may hurt your feelings,
Pure honesty through all of your dealings,
A willing hand to the old and disabled,
Reluctance to judge people by what they are labelled;
Genuine help to a person in need,
A little of your time to do a good deed,
Value for friendship with highest esteem,
For no one can buy what true friendship means.
Grandchild I made these wishes for you
Because I am old and you are the new.
From me you’ll draw the strength to go on
And from you I’ll recapture the years that are gone.
Money can’t buy what I’ve wished for you,
They’ll be part of whatever you do.
I’ve wished for you, now you pass it on
And it’ll still be around, long after we’ve gone.
I have to live with myself and so
I want to be fit for myself to know.
I want to be able as days go by,
always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don’t want to stand with the setting sun
and hate myself for the things I have done.
I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don’t want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don’t want to look at myself and know
that I am bluster and bluff and empty show.
I never can hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know;
I never can fool myself and so,
Whatever happens I want to be
self respecting and conscience free.
I take off my hat to the people today,
With their wonderful modern ideas,
But still raise my hat to the folk of the past,
Who are known as the old pioneers.
Twas they who were new, we but followed their trails,
I admit there’s more comfort this way,
But whether it’s progress or whether it’s not,
I am really not open to say.
The peace that they knew was surprisingly fair,
With contentment of mind they were blessed;
We see in our albums, bewhiskered old men,
And we laugh at the way they were dressed.
But joy that they had, were more rich in their worth,
Than the samples we know of today,
Their pleasures were simple, more lasting, perhaps,
And their hearts far more happy and gay.
I wonder at times if it’s service or self,
That’s the goal in this world we call new,
And take off my hat to the old pioneers,
To the brave, fast diminishing few.
Reap What You Sow
Let me be kind to others,
Forgiving and aware,
Give me the smile, the gentle touch
That shows I really care.
Let me know how to listen
And not apportion blame,
And let me be truly thankful
When others do the same.
Seeing the Best in Others
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If the good that’s in us all
Were the only things about us
That folks bothered to recall?
Wouldn’t life be lots more happy
If we praised the good we see?
For there’s such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me.
Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth must borrow its mirth,
But has troubles enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost in the air;
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.
Rejoice and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure of your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all,-
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life’s gall.
Feast and your hall are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by;
Succeed and give, and it helps you live,
But no man can help you die.
There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a large and lordly train,
But one by one we must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Success is speaking words of praise,
In cheering other people’s ways,
In doing just the best you can,
With every task and every plan.
It’s silence when your speech would hurt,
Politeness when your neighbours curt.
It’s deafness when the scandal flows,
And sympathy with others’ woes.
It’s loyalty when duty calls,
It’s courage when disaster falls.
It’s patience when the hours are long,
It’s found in laughter and in song.
It’s in the silent time of prayer,
In happiness and in despair.
In all of life and nothing less,
We find the thing we call success.
The more you give, the more you get,
The more you laugh, the less you fret,
The more you do unselfishly,
The more you live abundantly.
The more of everything you share,
The more you’ll always have to spare.
The more you love, the more you’ll find
That life is good and friends are kind.
For only what we give away
Enriches us from day to day.
I ask you to trust me, you said you did
But still you keep treating me just like a kid.
Questions you ask, the look in your eyes,
Accuses me of telling you lies.
How will I learn if I don’t make mistakes?
You disapprove of the friends that I make.
How will I know the right or wrong kind
If you don’t let me use my own mind?
You frown at my make-up, my clothes, my hair-do;
It’s like you want me a replica of you.
I don’t want to hurt you, but can’t you see?
It’s not right to relive your life through me.
Be fair to me Mum, you’ve had your time,
You gave me my life, so let it be mine.
I need your love, your trust and support
To prove that I value the thing you have taught.
If you learn to let go, then just maybe
We can be friends, not enemies.
Each time you keep me in wool on the shelf,
It’s not me you’re doubting, it’s sadly yourself.
The Loom of Time
Man’s life is laid in the loom of time
To a pattern he does not see
While the weavers and shuttles fly
Till the dawn of eternity.
Some shuttles are filled with silver threads
And some with threads of gold
While often but the darker threads
Are all that they may hold.
But the weaver watches with Skilful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom moves sure and slow.
God surely planned the pattern
Each thread, dark and fair
Is chosen by His master skill
And placed in the web with care.
God only knows its beauty
And guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive
As well as the threads with gold.
Not till each loom is silent
And the shuttle cease to fly
Shall God reveal the pattern
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads were as needful
In the weaver’s skilful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
For the pattern which he planned.
Take a cup of kindness,
A measure of good cheer.
Add a heap of sympathy,
Some laughter and a tear.
Then some understanding,
Compassion and a smile.
Mix them together,
Then let it stand awhile.
After that add humour,
Some faith from up above,
And remember always,
To add undying love.
Mix up these ingredients,
And when the job is done,
You’ll have the perfect mixture,
That makes a perfect Mum.
The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk--
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.
The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.
The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control–
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.
The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.
This was my father's belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf–
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children's teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.
The surest of aids to improving your lot,
Is making the most of things that you’ve got;
A small dab of paint or a tin full of stain,
Will make an old chair sparkle freshly again.
The dress that’s outmoded, or may be is torn,
Is often the place where a brainwave is born;
A needle, some cotton, a practical thought,
And presto! It’s better that something you bought.
And really and truly it’s ever such fun,
Beholding improvements that you have just done;
Your gaze at your handiwork, take a good view,
And each fresh achievement brings pleasures anew.
When life gets outmoded, all tattered and torn,
Our senses all frayed and the edges all worn,
Just think up a scheme that will make it more fair,
And put into practice this method with care.
Don’t envy kings, though he sits on a throne,
That joys that are his may be less than your own,
For happiness lies not in having a lot,
But making the most of the things that you’ve got.
A little dash of purpose,
An effort made to cheer,
A little more of courage,
And less of doubt and fear;
A little more of lifting,
And pulling all our weight,
A little less of leaning,
And leaving it to fate.
A little less of grabbing,
Of selfishness and greed,
A little more of helping,
A fellow that’s in need;
A little more of working,
With smiles instead of frowns,
A little less of kicking,
A fellow when he down.
A little less complaining,
About the things that mar,
A little more adapting,
To all the things that are;
A little more of caring,
And willingness to fight,
A little more of daring,
For what we feel is right.
A little splash of humour,
To brighten up the way,
A little joy to follow,
And linger through the day;
A little touch of laughter,
To cause a little mirth,
Is simply what we’re needing,
To gladden this old earth.
When you get on and lived a long time
And the walk up the stairs is a mighty high climb,
Though your eyes are dimmer than what they were
And the pages of a book has a misty blur,
Strange as the case may seems to be
Then is the time you will clearly see.
You’ll see yourself as you really are,
When you’ve lived a lot and you’ve travelled far,
When your strength gives out and your muscles tire
You’ll see the folly of ambition’s desire;
You’ll see what now to your sight is hid,
The numberless trivial things you did.
Often the blindest are youthful eyes,
For age must come ere a man grows wise,
And youth makes much of the mountain peaks,
And the strive for fame and the goals it seeks,
But age sits down with the setting sun
And smiles at the boastful deeds it’s done.
You’ll sigh for the friends that were set aside
By a hasty word or a show of pride,
You’ll laugh at medals that now you prize,
For you’ll look at them through clearer eyes
And see how little they really meant
For which so much your strength was spent.
You’ll see, as always an old man sees,
That the waves die down with the fading breeze,
That the pomp’s of life never last for long,
And the great sink back to the common throng,
And you’ll understand when the struggle ends,
That the finest gifts of this life are friends.
Who will take grandma, who will it be?
All of us want her - I’m sure you’ll agree.
Let’s call a meeting – Let’s gather the clan,
Let’s get it settled as soon as we can.
In such a big family, there’s certainly one,
Willing to give her a place in the sun.
Strange how we thought she’d never wear out,
But see how she walks? – It’s arthritis no doubt.
Her eyesight is faded, her memory is dim,
She’s apt to insist on the silliest whim.
When people get older they become such a care,
She must have a home, but the question is where?
Remember the days when she used to be spry?
Baked her own cookies and made her own pie,
Helped us with lessons and tended our seams,
Kissed away troubles and mended our dream?
Wonderful Grandma, we all love her so,
Isn’t dreadful she’s nowhere to go?
One little corner is all she would need,
A shoulder to cry on, a Bible to read.
A chair by the window with the sun shining through,
Some pretty spring flowers all covered in dew.
Who’ll warm her with love so she won’t mind the cold?
Oh who will take grandmother now that she’s old?
What! Nobody wants her? Oh yes there is one,
Willing to give her a place in the sun,
Where she won’t have to worry or wonder or doubt,
And she won’t be our problem to bother about,
Pretty soon now, God will give her a bed,
But who’ll dry our tears when dear Grandma is dead?
Do you wish the World were better?
Let me tell you what to do;
Set a watch upon your actions,
Keep them always straight and true.
Rid your mind of selfish motives,
Let your thoughts be clean and high.
You can make a little Eden
Of the sphere you occupy.
Do you wish the World were wiser?
Then suppose you make a start,
By accumulating wisdom
In the scrapbook of your heart.
Do not waste one page on folly;
Live to learn and learn to live.
If you want to give men knowledge
You must get it ere you give.
Do you wish the World were happy?
Then remember day by day,
Just to scatter seeds of kindness,
As you pass along the way.
For the pleasures of the many,
May be oft times traced to one.
As the hand that plants the acorn,
Shelters armies from the sun.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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