Every hour that fleets so slowly
Has its task to do or bear;
Luminous the crown, and holy,
When each gem is set with care.
Do not linger with regretting,
Or for passing hours despond;
Nor, thy daily toil forgetting,
Look too eagerly beyond.
Hours are golden links, God’s
Reaching heaven; but one by one
Take them, lest the chain be broken
Ere the pilgrimage be done.
Adelaide A. Procter.
* * * * *
Choose any four lines of the poem, and tell what lesson each line teaches.
Name some great works that were done little by little.
What does “Rome was not built in a day” mean?
Tell what is meant by “He that despiseth small faults shall fall by little and little.”
What is the real or literal meaning of the word gem?
Find the word in the poem, and tell what meaning it has there.
Explain the line—
“Let no future dreams elate thee.”
What is meant by “building castles in the air?”
Study the whole poem line by line, and try to tell yourself what each line means. Nearly every single line of it teaches an important moral lesson. Find out what that lesson is.
Tell what you know of the author.
* * * * *
ca noe’ sup’ ple fi’ brous res’ in sin’ ews tam’ a rack ooz’ ing bal’ sam sol’ i ta ry pli’ ant fis’ sure re sist’ ance som’ ber crev’ ice re splen’ dent
THE BIRCH CANOE.
“Give me of your bark,
O Birch Tree!
Of your yellow bark, O Birch Tree!
Growing by the rushing river,
Tall and stately in the valley!
I a light canoe will build me,
That shall float upon the river,
Like a yellow leaf in autumn,
Like a yellow water lily!
Lay aside your cloak, O Birch Tree!
Lay aside your white-skin wrapper,
For the summer time is coming,
And the sun is warm in heaven,
And you need no white-skin wrapper!”
Thus aloud cried Hiawatha
In the solitary forest,
When the birds were singing gayly,
In the Moon of Leaves were singing.
And the tree with all its branches
Rustled in the breeze of morning,
Saying, with a sigh of patience,
“Take my cloak, O Hiawatha!”
With his knife the tree he girdled;
Just beneath its lowest branches,
Just above the roots, he cut it,
Till the sap came oozing outward;
Down the trunk, from top to bottom,
Sheer he cleft the bark asunder,
With a wooden wedge he raised it,
Stripped it from the trunk unbroken.
“Give me of your boughs, O Cedar!
Of your strong and pliant branches,
My canoe to make more steady,
Make more strong and firm beneath me!”
Through the summit of the Cedar
Went a sound, a cry of horror,
Went a murmur of resistance;