Wild and fearful in his cavern
Hid the naked troglodyte,
And the homeless nomad wandered
Laying waste the fertile plain.
Menacing with spear and arrow
In the woods the hunter strayed .
Woe to all poor wreteches stranded
On those cruel and hostile shores!
From the peak of high Olympus
Came the mother Ceres down,
Seeeking in those savage regions
Her lost daughter Prosperine.
But the Goddess found no refuge,
Found no kindly welcome there,
And no temple bearing witness
To the worship of the gods.
From the fields and from the vineyards
Came no fruit to deck the feasts,
Only flesh of blood-stained victims
Smouldered on the alter-fires,
And where'er the grieving goddess
Turns her melancholy gaze,
Sunk in vilest degradation
Man his loathsomeness displays.
Would he purge his soul from vileness
And attain to light and worth,
He must turn and cling forever
To his ancient Mother Earth.
Joy everlasting fostereth
The soul of all creation,
It is her secret ferment fires
The cup of life with flame.
'Tis at her beck the grass hath turned
Each blade toward the light
and solar systems have evolved
From chaos and dark night,
Filling the realms of boundless space
Beyond the sage's sight.
At bounteous nature's kindly breast,
All things that breath drink Joy,
And bird and beasts and creaping things
All follow where she leads.
Her gifts to man are friends in need,
The wreath, the foaming must,
To angels -- visions of God's throne,
To insects -- sensual lust.
There’s not a leaf within the bower,—
There’s not a bird upon the tree,—
There’s not a dewdrop on the flower,—
But bears the impress, Lord, of Thee.
Thy power the varied leaf designed,
And gave the bird its thrilling tone;
Thy hand the dewdrops’ tints combined,
Till like a diamond’s blaze they shone.
Yes, dewdrops, leaves and buds, and all,—
The smallest, like the greatest things,—
The sea’s vast space, the earth’s wide ball,
Alike proclaim Thee, King of kings!But man alone, to bounteous Heaven,
Thanksgiving’s conscious strains can raise:
To favored man, alone, ’tis given,
To join the angelic choir in praise.
Suppose the little cowslip
Should hang its tiny cup,
And say, “I’m such a little flower,
I’d better not grow up.
How many a weary traveler
Would miss the fragrant smell?
How many a little child would grieve
To miss it from the dell!Suppose the glistening dew-drop,
Upon the grass, should say,
“What can a little dew-drop do?
I’d better roll away.
The blade on which it rested,
Before the day was done,
Without a drop to moisten it,
Would wither in the sun.
Suppose the little breezes
Upon a summer’s day,
Should think themselves too small to cool
The traveler on his way:
Who would not miss the smallest
And softest ones that blow,
And think they made a great mistake
If they were talking so?How many deeds of kindness
A little child may do,
Although it has so little strength,
And little wisdom, too.
It wants a loving spirit,
Much more than strength, to prove,
How many things a child may do
For others by his love.
Morn amid the mountains,
Gushing streams and fountains,
Murmur, “God is good.
”Now the glad sun, breaking,
Pours a golden flood;
Deepest vales awaking,
Echo, “God is good.
”Wake and join the chorus,
Man with soul endued!
He, whose smile is o’er us,
God,—our God,—is good.
A moment too late, my beautiful bird,—
A moment too late are you now,
The wind has your soft, downy nest disturbed,—
The nest that you hung on the bough.
A moment too late,—that string in your bill
Would have fastened it firmly and strong;
But see, there it goes rolling over the hill!
Oh! you tarried a moment too long.
A moment too late,—too late, busy bee,
The honey has dropped from the flower;
No use to creep under the petals to see,—
It stood ready to drop for an hour.
A moment too late,—had you sped on your wing,
The honey would not have been gone;
But see what a very,—a very sad thing,
’Tis to tarry a moment too long.
Thou’rt up betimes, my little bird,
And out this morning early,
For still the tender bud is closed,
And still the grass is pearly.
Why rise so soon, thou little bird,
Thy soft, warm nest forsaking?
To brave the dull, cold morning sky,
While day is scarcely breaking?Ah! thou art wise, thou little bird,
For fast the hours are flying;
And this young day, but dawning now,
Will soon, alas! be dying.
I’ll learn of thee, thou little bird,
And slothful habits scorning,
No longer sleep youth’s dawn away,
Nor waste life’s precious morning.
Oh! is there any cause to fear
That dol-ly will be very ill?
To cure my lit-tle dar-ling here,
Pray, doc-tor, use your ut-most skill.
And dol-ly, if you would get well,
Hold out your arm, that Dr.
May feel your tiny pulse, and tell
What best will take the pain a-way.
And do not say: "I will not touch
That nas-ty phy-sic, nor the pill.
If lit-tle dolls will eat too much,
They must not won-der if they're ill.
If your mam-ma ate too much cake,
She would be very poor-ly too,
And nas-ty phy-sic have to take;
And, lit-tle dol-ly, so must you.
There’s a nest in the hedge-row,
Half bid by the leaves,
And the sprays, white with blossom,
Bend o’er it like eaves.
God gives birds their lodging,
He gives them their food,
And they trust He will give them
Whatever is good.
Ah! when our rich blessings,
My child, we forget;
When for some little trouble
We murmur and fret;Hear sweet voices singing
In hedges and trees:
Shall we be less thankful,
Less trustful than these?
God intrusts to all
Talents, few or many;
None so young or small,
That they have not any.
Though the great and wise
May have more in number,
Yet my own I prize,
And they must not slumber.
Little drops of rain.
Bring the springing flowers;
And I may attain
Much by little powers.
Every little mite,
Every little measure,
Helps to spread the light,
Helps to swell the treasure.
Almighty Father! Thou hast many blessings
In store for every loving child of Thine;
For this I pray,—Let me, Thy grace possessing,
Seek to be guided by Thy will divine.
Not for earth’s treasures,—for her joys the dearest,—
Would I my supplications raise to Thee;
Not for the hopes that to my heart are nearest,
But only that I give that heart to Thee.
I pray that Thou wouldst guide and guard me ever;
Cleanse, by Thy power, from every stain of sin;
I will Thy blessing ask on each endeavor,
And thus Thy promised peace my soul shall win.
I knew a little, sickly child,
The long, long summer’s day,
When all the world was green and bright,
Alone in bed to lay;
There used to come a little dove
Before his window small,
And sing to him with her sweet voice,
Out of the fir-tree tall.
And when the sick child better grew,
And he could creep along,
Close to that window he would come,
And listen to her song.
He was so gentle in his speech,
And quiet at his play,
He would not, for the world, have made,
That sweet bird fly away.
There is a Holy Dove that sings
To every listening child,—
That whispers to his little heart
A song more sweet and mild.
It is the Spirit of our God
That speaks to him within;
That leads him on to all things good,
And holds him back from sin.
And he must hear that “still, small voice,”
Nor tempt it to depart,—
The Spirit, great and wonderful,
That whispers in his heart.
He must be pure, and good, and true;
Must strive, and watch, and pray;
For unresisted sin, at last,
May drive that Dove away.
God is in His holy temple;
Thoughts of earth be silent now,
While with reverence we assemble,
And before His presence bow.
He is with us, now and ever,
While we call upon His name,
Aiding every good endeavor,
Guiding every upward aim.
God is in His holy temple,—
In the pure and humble mind;
In the reverent heart and simple;
In the soul from sense refined.
Then let every low emotion
Banished far and silent be;
And our hearts in pure devotion,
Lord, be temples worthy Thee.
When the win-ter winds are blow-ing,
And we ga-ther glad and gay,
Where the fire its light is throw-ing,
For a mer-ry game at play,
There is none that to my know-ing,—
And I've play-ed at games enough,—
Makes us laugh, and sets us glow-ing
Like a game at Blind-man's Buff.
All through the win-ter, long and cold,
Dear Minnie ev-ery morn-ing fed
The little spar-rows, pert and bold,
And ro-bins, with their breasts so red.
She lov-ed to see the lit-tle birds
Come flut-ter-ing to the win-dow pane,
In answer to the gen-tle words
With which she scat-ter-ed crumbs and grain.
One ro-bin, bol-der than the rest,
Would perch up-on her fin-ger fair,
And this of all she lov-ed the best,
And daily fed with ten-der-est care.
But one sad morn, when Minnie came,
Her pre-ci-ous lit-tle pet she found,
Not hop-ping, when she call-ed his name,
But ly-ing dead up-on the ground.
They said, “don’t plant them,” mother; “they’re so common and so poor;”
But of seeds I had no other, so I dropped them by the door;
And they soon were brightly growing, in the rich and teeming soil,
Stretching upward, upward, upward, to reward me for my toil.
They grew all o’er the casement, and they wreathed around the door,
All about the chamber windows, upward,—upward, ever more;
And each dawn, in glowing beauty, glistening with early dew,
Is the house all wreathed with splendor, every morning bright and new.
What, if they close at mid-day? ’tis because their work is done,
And they shut their crimson petals from the kisses of the sun;
Teaching every day their lesson to my weary, panting soul,
To be faithful in well doing, stretching upward for the goal,Sending out the climbing tendrils, trusting God for strength and power,
To support, and aid, and comfort, in the trying day and hour.
Ne’er spurn the thing that’s common, nor call homely flowers poor,
Each hath a holy mission, like my Glory o’er the door.