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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 68

Selections of Poetry to Accompany and Illustrate the Catechism of the Duties of Life

page 59

Selections of Poetry to Accompany and Illustrate the Catechism of the Duties of Life.

page 60

Polonius' Advice to his Son.

There; my blessing with thee!
And these few precepts in thy memory
See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tonga
Nor any unproportional thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar
Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried
Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
But do not dull thy paha with entertainment
Of each new-hateh'd, unfledged comrade. Bewared
Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment
Costly thy abit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in farcy; rich, not gaudy;
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.


page 61

Ring Out, Wild Bells.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The Hying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
King out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring cut the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go:
Ring out the faise, ring in the true

Ring out the grief that the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

page 62

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


Doing Good Deeds.

My dearest maid, I have no song to give you,
No lark could pipe in skies so dull and grey;
Yet ere we part, one lesson I will leave you,
For every day,

Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever,
Do noble, noble things, not dream them all day long;
And so make life, death, and the vast forever,
One grand, sweet song.
C. Kingsley (In a young lady's album).

page 63

Remembered by What we have Done.

Needs then the praise of the love-written record,
The name and the epitaph graved on the stone?
The filings we have lived for, let them be our record,
We ourselves but remembered by what we have done.

We need not be missed, if our lives have been bearing
(As their summer and autumn moved silently on)
The bloom, and the fruit, and the seed of its season—
We shall still be remembered by what we have done.

We need not be missed, e'en if others succeed us,
To reap down those fields which in spring time we've sown;
They who ploughed and who sowed are not missed to the reaper—
They are only remembered by what they have done.

Not ourselves, but the truths that in life we have spoken—
Not ourselves, but the seeds that in life we have sown—
Shall pass on to ages; all about us forgotten,
Save the truths we have spoken, the things we have done.

So let our living be, so be our dying;
So let our names lie, unblazoned, unknown:
Unpraised and unmissed, we shall still be remembered,
Yes.—but remembered by what we have done.

H. Bonar,

page 64

Speak Gently.

Speak gently!—it is better far
To rule by love than fear.
Speak gently—let not harsh words mar
The good we might do here!

Speak gently—love doth whisper low
The vows that true hearts bind;
And gently friendship's accents flow—
Affection's voice is kind.

Speak gently to the little child!
Its love be sure to gain!
Teach it in accents soft and mild—
It may not long remain.

Speak gently to the young, for they
Will have enough to bear:
Pass through this life as best they may,
'Tis full of anxious care.

Speak gently to the aged one,
Grieve not the careworn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run,
Let such in peace depart.

Speak gently, kindly to the poor—
Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,
Without an unkind word.

page 65

Speak gently to the erring—know
They may have toil'd in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
Oh, win them back again.



Work! 'tis a noble and a manly word,
For Nature all around us works incessant.
Our mother earth, the vast and mighty ocean,
The stars, the planets, and the glorious sun,
All, all fulfil their mission: so must I .
Be mine to work while it is called today,
For fast the night of Death approaches,
Wherein no man may work. . . .
Hence, indolence! hence, sloth! hence, idleness!
Though not in halls of state, nor scenes of pomp
And glory lay my field of work and toil;
Though in some humble and forgotten place
My task I find and follow day by day,—
Still would I rather have the consciousness
That I have bravely done that duty next my hand.
Than aimed at great things and accomplished nought.
'Tis not the work we do, but how 'tis done,
That stamps with dignity our lot in life.

G. W. Russell,

page 66

Speak the Truth.

Be the matter what it may,
Always speak the truth;
Whether work or whether play,
Always speak the truth.
Never from this rule depart,
Grave it deeply on your heart;
Written 'tis in Virtue's chart:
Always speak the truth.

There's a charm in verity—
Always speak the truth;
There is meanness in a lie—
Always speak the truth.
He is but a coward slave
Who, a present pain to waive,
Stoops to falsehood: then he brave,
Always speak the truth

Falsehood seldom stands alone—
Always speak the truth;
One begets another one—
Always speak the truth.
Falsehood all the soul degrades,
'Tis a sin from which proceed
Greater sins and darker deeds;
Always speak the truths

page 67

When you're wrong the folly own;
Always speak the truth:
Here's a victory to he won;
Always speak the truth.
He who speaks with lying-tongue
Adds to wrong a greater wrong:
Then with courage true and strong
Always-speak the truth.

American Sacred Songster.

Promptness in Action.

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.


True Nobility.

Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
And simple faith than Norman blood.


page 68

Little by Little.

Little rills make wider streamlets,
Streamlets swell the river's flow;
Rivers join the ocean billows,
Onward, onward, as they go.
Life is made of smallest fragments
Shade and sunshine, work and play;
So may we, with greatest profit,
Learn a little every day.

Tiny seeds make boundless harvests,
Drops of rain compose the showers;
Seconds make the flying minutes,
And the minutes make the hours.
Let us hasten, then, and catch them,
As they pass us on our way;
And with honest, true endeavour,
Learn a little every day.

Let us read some striking passage,
Cull a verse from every page;
Here a line and there a sentence,
'Gainst the lonely time of age.
At our work, or by the wayside,
While the sun shines, making hay;
Thus may we by true endeavour
Learn a little every day!


page 69

Speak No Ill.

Nay, speak no ill!—a kindly word
Can never leave a sting behind,
And, oh! to breathe each tale we've heard
Is far beneath a noble mind.
Full oft a better seed is sow
By choosing thus the kinder plan:
For if but little good be known,
Still let us speak the best we can.

Give me the heart that fain would hide—
Would fain another's fault efface;
How can it pleasure human pride
To prove humanity but base?
No, let us reach a higher mood,
A nobler estimate of man;
Be earnest in the search for good,
And speak of all the best we can.

Then speak no ill—but lenient be
To others' failings as your own;
If you're the first a fault to see,
Bee not the first to make it known.
For life is but a passing day,
No lip may tell how brief its span;
Then oh! the little time we stay
Let's speak of all the best we can.


page 70

Psalm of Life.

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 to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.

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'orhead

page 71

Lives of great men nil remind us
We ran 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 labour and to wait,


National Greatness.

Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade,
A breath can make them as a breath has made;
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroy'd, can never be supplied.


page 72

Kind Words.

Kind words ran never die,
Cherished and Lies';
God knows how deep they lie,
Stored in the breast:
Like childhood's simple rhymes,
Said o'er a thousand times,
Ay, in all years and climes
Distant and near.
Kind words can never die,
No, never die.

Sweet thoughts can never die,
Though, like the flower?,
Their brightest hues may fly
In wintry hours.
But when the gentle dew
Gives them their charms anew,
With many an added hue
They bloom again.
Sweet thoughts can never die,
No, never die.

A. Hutchnson.

Well may your hearts believe the truth I tell:
'Tis virtue makes the bliss where'er we dwell;


page 73

Let it Pass.

Be not swift to take offence,
Lot it pass!
Anger is a foe to sense,
Let it pass!
Brood not darkly o'er a wrong,
Which will disappear ore long;
Rather sing this cheery song,
Let it pass!

Echo not an angry word,
Let it pass!
Think how often you have erred,
Let it pass!
Since our joys must pass away.
Like the dewdrops on the spray,
Wherefore should our sorrow stay'?
Let it pass!

If for good you suffer ill.
Let it pass!
O, be kind and gentle still,
Let it pass!
Time at last makes all things straight:
Let us not resent, but wait,
And our triumpn shall be great:
Let it pass!


page 74

Love of Parents.

My loving father, mother,—
I never can repay
The heavy debt I owe to them,
And will owe them for aye!

How much to them indebted
I ever hence shall be
For loving, tender care
In helpless infancy!

For clothing, food and shelter—
And hearing all my cares
In wayward childhood's weakness,
And the succeeding years.

In youth's impulsive moments
Their kind advice was given
To shield from harms I knew not!
My follies soon forgiven!

And when in hours of sickness,
Yea, nigh to death, I lay—
How tenderly end gently
They nursed me nigh; and day!

How could I cause one sorrow
To hearts whose love so true,
And pure, and good to me was given
E'en long before i knew?

page 75

O loving father, mother,
I never can repay
The debt I owe—will always owe—
But this much will I say:

That long as God shall spare ye,
My gratitude I'll prove
By kindly words and filial deeds,—
True evidence of love '

In life I'll love my parents.
And when they've closed their eyes
In death, sweet loving memories
Shall in my breast arise.

G. W. Russell.


When man has cast off his ambitious greatness,
And sunk into the sweetness of himself,
Built his foundation upon honest thoughts,
Not great but good desires Ins daily servants,
How quietly he sleeps I How joyfully
He wakes again, and looks on his possessions,
And from his willing labours feeds with pleasure!

Beaumont and Fletcher.

page 76
[unclear: Page]
Polonium' Advice to his Son Shakespeare [unclear: 1]
King out, Wild Bells Tennyson [unclear: 2]
Doing Good Deeds C. Kingsley [unclear: 3]
Remembered By What We Have Done H. Bonar [unclear: 4]
Speak Gently Anonymous [unclear: 5]
Work G. W. Russell [unclear: 6]
Speak the Truth American [unclear: 7]
Promptness in Action Shakespeare [unclear: 8]
True Nobility Tennyson [unclear: 9]
Little by Little Anonymous [unclear: 10]
Speak No III Anonymous [unclear: 11]
Psalm of Life Longfellow [unclear: 12]
National Greatness Goldsmith [unclear: 13]
Kind Words A. Hutchinson [unclear: 14]
Let it Pass Anonymous [unclear: 15]
Love of Parents G. W. Russell [unclear: 16]
Contentment Beaumont & F. [unclear: 17]