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The human spirit can triumph over difficulties, as flowers bloom along the edge of the Alpine snow.
TAND forth, my soul, and grip thy woe,
STANckle the sword and face thy foe.
What right hast thou to be afraid
Stand forth, my soul, and take command.
Claim thou thy ground and thrust thy foe,
I ask no truce, I have no qualms,
From "The Hour Has Struck,"
LIONS AND ANTS
NCE a hunter met a lion near the hungry critter's
cidedly unfair; but the hunter never whimpered when the surgeons, with their thread, sewed up forty-seven gashes in his mutilated head; and he showed the scars in triumph, and they gave him pleasant fame, and he always blessed the lion that had camped upon his frame. Once that hunter, absent minded, sat upon a hill of ants, and about a million bit him, and you should have seen him dance! And he used up lots of language of a deep magenta tint, and apostrophized the insects in a style unfit to print. And it's thus with worldly troubles; when the big ones come along, we serenely go to meet them, feeling valiant, bold and strong, but the weary little worries with their poisoned stings and smarts, put the lid upon our courage, make us gray, and break our hearts.
From "Walt Mason, His Book,"
LIFE, NOT DEATH
Sometimes life is so unsatisfying that we think we should like to be rid of it. But we really are not longing for death; we are longing for more life.
WHATEVER crazy sorrow saith,
No life that breathes with human breath
Has ever truly longed for death.
'Tis life, whereof our nerves are scant, Oh life, not death, for which we pant; More life, and fuller, that I want.
THE UNMUSICAL SOLOIST
In any sort of athletic contest a man who individually is goodperhaps even of the very best-may be a poor member of the team because he wishes to do all the playing himself and will not co-operate with his fellows. Every coach knows how such a man hashes the game. The same thing is true in business or in anything else where many people work together; a really capable man often fails because he hogs the center of the stage and wants to be the whole show. To seek petty, immediate triumphs instead of earning and waiting for the big, silent approval of one's own conscience and of those who understand, is a mark of inferiority. It is also a barrier to usefulness, for an egotistical man is necessarily selfish and a selfish man cannot co-operate.
USIC hath charms-at least it should;
Even a homely voice sounds good
May tickle the toes till they want to jump.
With discords that jar folks everywhere.
A pity it is he ever was born
The discordant fellow who toots his own horn.
He gets in the front where all can see-
The pronoun I or his own name.
He trumpets his worth with such windy tooting
For the world soon tires of the chap who blows.
The poorest woodchopper makes the most sound;
"The world," so far as he can see,
"Consists of a few other folks and ME."
He richly deserves to be held in scorn
The ridiculous fellow who toots his own horn.
ON DOWN THE ROAD
Hazlitt said that the defeat of the Whigs could be read in the shifting and irresolute countenance of Charles James Fox, and the triumph of the Tories in Pitt's "aspiring nose.' The empires of the Montezumas are conquered by men who, like Cortez, risk everything in the enterprise and make retreat impossible by burning their ships behind them.
HOLD the banner still flies;
OLD to the course, though the storms are about you;
Fate and his legions are ready to rout you
Give 'em both barrels and aim for their eyes.
Life's not a rose bed, a dream or a bubble,
A living in clover beneath cloudless skies;
Fame never comes to the loafers and sitters,
Permission of the Author.
Some students of biology planned a trick on their professor. They took the head of one beetle, the body of another of a totally different species, the wings of a third, the legs of a fourth. These members they carefully pasted together. Then they asked the professor what kind of bug the creature was. He answered promptly, “A humbug." Just such a monstrosity is trouble-especially future trouble. Some things about it are real, but the whole combined menace is only an illusion, not a thing which actually exists at all. Face the trouble itself; give no heed to that idea of it which invests it with a hundred dire calamities.
ROUBLE in the distance seems all-fired big
Sorter makes you shiver when you look at it
Makes you wanter edge aside, er hide, er take a swig Of somethin' that is sure to set your worried head a-hummin'.
Trouble in the distance is a mighty skeery fellerBut wait until it reaches you afore you start to beller!
Trouble standin' in th' road and frownin' at you, black, Makes you feel like takin' to the weeds along the way; Wish to goodness you could turn and hump yerself straight back;
Know 'twill be awful when he gets you close at bay! Trouble standin' in the road is bound to make you shyBut wait until it reaches you afore you start to cry!
Trouble face to face with you ain't pleasant, but you'll find That it ain't one-ha'f as big as fust it seemed to be; Stand up straight and bluff it out! Say, "I gotter a mind To shake my fist and skeer you off-you don't belong
Trouble face to face with you? Though you mayn't feel
Laugh at it as if you wuz-and it'll sneak away!
From "The Quiet Courage,"
Stewart & Kidd Co., Cincinnati, Ohio
Everard Jack Appleton.