On Quitting ~ Edgar Guest

How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
You may talk of pluck; it’s an easy word,
And where’er you go it is often heard;
But can you tell to a jot or guess
Just how much courage you now possess?
You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
But have you tackled self-discipline?
Have you ever issued commands to you
To quit the things that you like to do,
And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
Those rigid orders have you obeyed?

Don’t boast of your grit till you’ve tried it out,
Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
For it’s easy enough to retain a grin
In the face of a fight there’s a chance to win,
But the sort of grit that is good to own
Is the stuff you need when you’re all alone.
How much grit do you think you’ve got?
Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
Have you ever tested yourself to know
How far with yourself your will can go?
If you want to know if you have grit,
Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.

It’s bully sport and it’s open fight;
It will keep you busy both day and night;
For the toughest kind of a game you’ll find
Is to make your body obey your mind.
And you never will know what is meant by grit
Unless there’s something you’ve tried to quit.

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Today’s Reflection ~ Adversity

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
  Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
  Wears yet a precious jewel in his head.
As You Like It, Act i. Sc. 3. SHAKESPEARE.

The Disappointed ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are songs enough for the hero

    Who dwells on the heights of fame;

  I sing of the disappointed—

    For those who have missed their aim.

  I sing with a tearful cadence

    For one who stands in the dark,

  And knows that his last, best arrow

    Has bounded back from the mark.

  I sing for the breathless runner,

    The eager, anxious soul,

“Who falls with his strength exhausted.

    Almost in sight of the goal;

  For the hearts that break in silence,

    With a sorrow all unknown,

  For those who need companions,

    Yet walk their ways alone.

  There are songs enough for the lovers

    Who share love’s tender pain,

  I sing for the one whose passion

    Is given all in vain.

  For those whose spirit comrades

    Have missed them on their way,

  I sing, with a heart o’erflowing,

    This minor strain to-day.

  And I know the Solar system

    Must somewhere keep in space

  A prize for that spent runner

    Who barely lost the race.

  For the plan would be imperfect

    Unless it held some sphere

  That paid for the toil and talent

    And love that are wasted here.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Today ~ Thomas Carlyle

So here hath been dawning
    Another blue day;
  Think, wilt thou let it
    Slip useless away?

  Out of Eternity
    This new day is born;
  Into Eternity,
    At night will return.

  Behold it aforetime
    No eye ever did;
  So soon it for ever
    From all eyes is hid.

  Here hath been dawning
    Another blue day;
  Think, wilt thou let it
    Slip useless away?

Thomas Carlyle

Fame or Life ~ Lao-Tse

Or fame or life,

     Which do you hold more dear?

   Or life or wealth,

     To which would you adhere?

   Keep life and lose those other things;

   Keep them and lose your life:—which brings

     Sorrow and pain more near?

   Thus we may see,

     Who cleaves to fame

     Rejects what is more great;

   Who loves large stores

     Gives up the richer state.

   Who is content

   Needs fear no shame.

   Who knows to stop

   Incurs no blame.

   From danger free

   Long live shall he.

Cares ~ Elisabeth Barrett Browning

The little cares that fretted me,
    I lost them yesterday
  Among the fields above the sea,
    Among the winds at play;
  Among the lowing of the herds,
    The rustling of the trees,
  Among the singing of the birds,
    The humming of the bees.

  The foolish fears of what may happen,
    I cast them all away
  Among the clover-scented grass,
    Among the new-mown hay;
  Among the husking of the corn
    Where drowsy poppies nod,
  Where ill thoughts die and good are born
    Out in the fields with God.

Elisabeth Barrett Browning

Resolve ~ Charlotte Perkins Gilman

To keep my health!
  To do my work!
  To live!
  To see to it I grow and gain and give!
  Never to look behind me for an hour!
  To wait in weakness, and to walk in power;
  But always fronting onward to the light,
  Always and always facing towards the right.
  Robbed, starved, defeated, fallen, wide astray—
  On, with what strength I have!
  Back to the way!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman