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The place was dark, unfurnitured, and mean;
Yet there the freedom of a race began.

Help came but slowly : surely no man yet
Put lever to the heavy world with less.
What need of help? He knew how types were set ;
He had a dauntless spirit and a press.

Such earnest natures are the fiery pith,
The compact nucleus round which systems grow :
Mass after mass becomes inspired therewith,
And whirls impregnate with the central glow.

O Truth! O Freedom ! how are ye still born
In the rude stable, in the manger nursed !
What humble hands unbar those gates of morn
Through which the splendors of the new day burst!

We stride the river daily at its spring,
Nor in our childish thoughtlessness foresee
What myriad vassal streams shall tribute bring;
How like an equal it shall greet the sea.

O small beginnings ! ye are great and strong,
Based on a faithful heart and tireless brain :
Ye build the future fair; ye conquer wrong;
Ye earn the crown, and wear it not in vain !

James Russell Lowell.


My little maiden of four years old

(No myth, but a genuine child is she, With her bronze-brown eyes, and her curls of gold)

Came, quite in disgust, one day to me.

Rubbing her shoulder with rosy palm,

As the loathsome touch seemed yet to thrill her, She cried, “O mother! I found on my arm

A horrible, crawling caterpillar!”

And with mischievous smile she scarce could smother,

Yet a glance in its daring, half-awed and shy, She added : “While they were about it, mother,

I wish they'd just finished the butterfly!”


They were words to the thought of the soul that turns

From the coarser form of a partial growth, Reproaching the infinite Patience that yearns

With an unknown glory to crown them both.

Ah! look thou largely with lenient eyes

On whatso beside thee may creep and cling For the possible beauty that underlies

The passing phase of the meanest thing.

What if God's angels, whose waiting love

Beholdeth our pitiful life below From the holy hight of their heaven above, Couldn't bear with the worm till the wings should grow!

Atlantic Monthly


God is building here a temple ;

Day by day its walls arise :
He hath laid a sure foundation,

And its top shall reach the skies.
Every good deed, howe'er humble,

In the structure finds a place;
And the mighty Master-builder

Fashions all with heavenly grace.

Patient servant of the Saviour,

Humble toiler for the right,
Sore beset, and almost conquered

In the fierce and constant fight,
Oh! remember, and take courage,

Thou canst never fail nor lose
If thou bringest to the Master

Blocks which he will not refuse.

Hast thou raised a prostrate brother?

Hast thou saved a soul from sin ? Though unknown, despised, forgotten,

May thy work of love have been, God has wrought it in the temple ;

It is whiter than the snow, Brighter than the flushing ruby,

Purer than the diamond's glow.

Time hath now no power to mar it;

'Tis immortal as thy soul; It shall be a thing of beauty

While eternal ages roll.
When the mighty walls are finished,

And the temple is complete,
It shall be for thee a trophy,

Making all thy joy more sweet.




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