(Poems/Prose @ www.HappyOtter.Com)
If you cannot on the ocean,
Sail among the swiftest fleet,
Rocking on the highest billows,
Laughing at the storms you meet,
You can stand among the sailors,
Anchored yet within the bay;
You can lend a hand to help them,
As they launch their boats away
If you are too week to journey
Up the mountain, steep and high,
You can stand within the valley,
While the multitude go by.
You can chant in happy measure,
As they slowly pass along;
Though they may forget the singer,
They will not forget the song.
If you have not gold and silver
Ever ready to command,
If you cannot toward the needy
Reach an ever-open hand,
You can visit the afflicted,
O'er the erring you can weep;
You can be a true disciple,
Sitting at the Savior's feet.
If you cannot in a conflict
Prove yourself a soldier true,
If where the fire and smoke are thickest
There's no work for you to do,
When the battle field is silent,
You can go with careful tread;
You can bear away the wounded,
You can cover up the dead.
Do not stand then idly waiting
For some greater work to do;
Fortune is a lazy goddess,
She will never come to you.
Go and toil in any vineyard
Do not fear to do or dare;
If you want a field of labor,
You can find it anywhere.
--Ellen M. H Gates
TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD
Misunderstood! It is a right fool's word. Is it so bad then to be misunderstood?
Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus,
and Galileo, and Newton and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great
is to be misunderstood.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is my creed: To do some good,
To bear my ills without complaining,
To press on as a brave man should
For honors that are worth the gaining;
To seek no profits where I may,
By winning them, bring grief to others;
To do some service day by day
In helping on my toiling brothers.
This is my creed: To close my eyes
To little faults of those around me;
To strive to be when each day dies
Some better than the morning found me;
To ask for no unearned applause,
To cross no river until I reach it;
To see the merit of the cause
Before I follow those who preach it.....
To keep my standards always high,
To find my task and always do it:
This is my creed - I wish that I
Could learn to shape my action to it.
I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for things I have done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man I really am;
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.