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.

Life Has Loveliness ~ Sara Teasdale

Life has loveliness to sell,
   All beautiful and splendid things,
  Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
   Soaring fire that sways and sings,
  And children’s faces looking up
  Holding wonder like a cup.

  Life has loveliness to sell,
   Music like a curve of gold,
  Scent of pine trees in the rain,
   Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
  And for your spirit’s still delight,
  Holy thoughts that star the night.

  Spend all you have for loveliness,
   Buy it and never count the cost;
  For one white singing hour of peace
   Count many a year of strife well lost,
  And for a breath of ecstasy
  Give all you have been, or could be.

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

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

Start Where You Stand ~ Brenton Braley

Start where you stand and never mind the past,

    The past won’t help you in beginning new,

  If you have left it all behind at last

    Why, that’s enough, you’re done with it, you’re through;

  This is another chapter in the book,

    This is another race that you have planned,

  Don’t give the vanished days a backward look,

    Start where you stand.

  The world won’t care about your old defeats

    If you can start anew and win success,

  The future is your time, and time is fleet

    And there is much of work and strain and stress;

  Forget the buried woes and dead despairs,

    Here is a brand new trial right at hand,

The future is for him who does and dares,

    Start where you stand.

  Old failures will not halt, old triumphs aid,

    To-day’s the thing, to-morrow soon will be;

  Get in the fight and face it unafraid,

    And leave the past to ancient history;

  What has been, has been; yesterday is dead

    And by it you are neither blessed nor banned,

  Take courage, man, be brave and drive ahead,

    Start where you stand.

Berton Braley.