Rimes, Riddles and Stories
(Excerpted from, The Christian Heritage of the 50 United States of America
copyright 2000 by Catherine Millard.)
Do not look for wrong and evil, -
You will find them if you do;
As you measure for your neighbor,
He will measure back to you.
Look for goodness, look for gladness,
You will meet them all the while;
If you bring a smiling visage
To the glass, you meet a smile.
- Alice Carey
Truth is a gem so bright
That naught with it can vie.
That which but looks like truth
Is but a vile, dull lie.
Whatever you are, be brave;
The liar’s a coward and a slave,
Though clever at ruses
And sharp at excuses,
He’s a sneaking and pitiful knave.
Whatever you are, be frank, -
‘Tis better than money and rank;
Still cleave to the right,
Be lovers of light,
Be open, above board, and frank.
Whatever you are, be kind;
Be gentle in manners and mind;
The man gentle in mien,
Words and temper, I ween,
Is the gentleman truly refined.
Easy and pleasant ‘tis to quote
The brave, bold words another wrote;
But he who rank and file would lead,
Should prove his courage by his deed.
Time is the sand of life;
And when we waste a grain
And wish to get it back, -
We can but wish in vain.
Life is no dream or thing of naught.
But know you this, that life is thought,
And to lie is not life, if naught is wrought.
THE STARS AND STRIPES
I would cut a piece from an evening sky,
Where the stars were shining through,
And use it just as it was on high,
For my stars and field of blue.
Then I’d take a part of a fleecy cloud,
And some red from rainbow bright,
And put them together side by side,
For my stripes of red and white.
We shall always love the “Stars and Stripes,”
And we mean to be ever true
To this land of ours and the dear old flag,
“The Red, the White, and the Blue.”
Then hurrah for the flag! Our country’s Flag,
Its stripes and white stars, too;
There’s not a flag in other lands
Like our own “Red, White, and Blue.”
THE PIN AND THE NEEDLE
A pin and a needle were neighbors in a workbasket. Both being idle, they began to quarrel, as idle people are very likely to do. “I should like to know,” said the pin, “what you are good for, and how you expect to get through the world without a head.” “What is the use of your head,” replied the needle sharply, “if you have no eye?” “What is the use of your eye, if there is always something in it?” asked the needle. “Yes, but you will not live long, for you have always a stitch in your side.” “You are a poor, crooked thing!”
Cried the needle. “And you are so proud that you can’t bend without breaking,” answered the pin. “I will pull your head off, if you insult me again,” said the needle. “I will pull your eye out, if you touch me,” snarled the pin. “Remember, your life hangs by a single thread.”
While they were quarreling thus, a little girl came into the room. She began sewing something hand, but soon broke the needle at the eye, and threw it under the grate. Then the girl picked up the pin. It was so crooked that it bent almost double when she tried to use it. So she threw the pin into the ashes with the needle.
“Well, here we are,” said the needle. “we have nothing to quarrel about now,” said the pin. “It seems that misfortune has brought us to our senses.” “It is a pity that we had
not come to them sooner,” said the needle. “We are much like many men who quarrel about their blessings till they lose them”
(In your own words, tell the meaning of: “A stitch in your side;” “so proud that you can’t bend without breaking;” “your life hangs by a single thread.”)