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And though you be done to the death, what then?

If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,

Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,

And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

Edmund Vance Cooke.


Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us, that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve

that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Address of President Lincoln at Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863


If I had the time to find a place
And sit me down full face to face
With my better self that stands no show
In my daily life that rushes so,
It might be then I would see my soul
Was stumbling still toward the shining goal-
I might be nerved by the thought sublime,

If I had the time!
If I had the time to let my heart
Speak out and take in my life a part,
To look about and stretch a hand
To a comrade quartered on no-luck land,
Ah, God! If I might but just sit still
And hear the note of the whip-poor-will,
I think that my wish with God would rhyme-

If I had the time!
If I had the time to learn from you
How much for comfort my word would do;
And I told you then of my sudden will
To kiss your feet when I did you ill-
If the tears aback of the bravado
Could force their way and let you know
Brothers, the souls of us all would chime,
If we had the time!

Richard Burton

MAMMA'S DIRL Ev'ry night when shadows fly, And the housework is put by, And, shut-eyed, I sit and dream Of the light on some far stream, Of the blooms I used to know In some field of long ago, Then I wonder wearily If the present holds for me Half the joys of other days, Half the gladness of old ways, And sometimes my eyes are wet With a half-forgot regret; Then comes romping in to me And up-clambers on my knee Such a blue-eyed, laughing sprite, And puts weariness to flight; Such as makes the present seem, More than yesterday, a dream Of sweet things; and so I smile O'er regrets of otherwhile, And she says, and twists a curl: "I am mamma's baby dirl!" And the while I bless my lot, Whispers: “Mamma had fordot?" I had not forgot, ah, no! Memory will sometime go Down the ways we used to tread; Ways with wondrous blossoms spread It is not that we regret, These old ways we don't forget, It is just that laughter rang, just that lilting wild birds sang

O'er those ways of yesteryear
That still makes their mem'ry dear.
But I'm happier today
Than I was down any way
That my young feet used to tread;
Skies are bluer overhead,
And today's birds sing more clear
Than did birds of yesteryear;
I have got you by my side,
Bonny-haired and wonder-eyed,
You who clamber to my knee,
You whose laugh is full of glee,
And I'm happy; happy? Yes!
Glad for every sweet caress,
For each dimpling smile and curl!
Thankful for my “baby dirl."

J. M. Lewis, in Houston Post.


Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.


Before me, even as behind,
God is, and all is well.

John Greenleaf Whittier.

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And night's deep darkness has no chain to bind
His rushing pinion. ..
Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career,
Dark, stern, all pitiless, and pauses not
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path
To sit and muse, like other conquerors,
Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought!

George D. Prentice.

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There's a letter on the bottom of the pile,

Its envelope a faded yellow brown,
It has traveled to the city many a mile,

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And the postmark names a little unknown town.

But the hurried man of business pushes all the others by,
And on the scrawly characters he turns a glistening eye;
He forgets the cares of commerce and his anxious schemes

for gain,

The while he reads what mother writes from up in Maine.


There are quirks and scratchy quavers of the pen

Where it struggled in the fingers old and bent. There are places that he has to read again

And ponder on to find what mother meant.

There are letters on his table that enclose some bouncing

There are letters giving promises of profits on his "specs;"
But he tosses all the litter by, forgets the golden rain,
Until he reads what mother writes from up in Maine.

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