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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 194 pages of information about A Backward Glance at Eighty.

  DEEP-ROOTED

  Fierce Boreas in his wildest glee
  Assails in vain the yielding tree
  That, rooted deep, gains strength to bear,
  And proudly lifts its head in air.

  When loss or grief, with sharp distress,
  To man brings brunt of storm and stress,
  He stands serene who calmly bends
  In strength that trust, deep-rooted, lends.

  TO HORATIO STEBBINS

  The sun still shines, and happy, blithesome birds
  Are singing on the swaying boughs in bloom. 
  My eyes look forth and see no sign of gloom,
  No loss casts shadow on the grazing herds;
  And yet I bear within a grief that words
  Can ne’er express, for in the silent tomb
  Is laid the body of my friend, the doom
  Of silence on that matchless voice.  Now girds
  My spirit for the struggle he would praise. 
  A leader viewless to the mortal eye
  Still guides my steps, still calls with clarion cry
  To deeds of honor, and my thoughts would raise
  To seek the truth and share the love on high. 
  With loyal heart I’ll follow all my days.

  NEW YEAR, 1919

  The sifting sand that marks the passing year
  In many-colored tints its course has run
  Through days with shadows dark, or bright with sun,
  But hope has triumphed over doubt and fear,
  New radiance flows from stars that grace our flag. 
  Our fate we ventured, though full dark the night,
  And faced the fatuous host who trusted might. 
  God called, the country’s lovers could not lag,
  Serenely trustful, danger grave despite,
  Untrained, in love with peace, they dared to fight,
  And freed a threatened world from peril dire,
  Establishing the majesty of right. 
  Our loyal hearts still burn with sacred fire,
  Our spirits’ wings are plumed for upward flight.

  NEW YEAR, 1920

  The curtain rises on the all-world stage,
  The play is unannounced; no prologue’s word
  Gives hint of scene, or voices to be heard;
  We may be called with tragedy to rage,
  In comedy or farce we may disport,
  With feverish melodrama we may thrill,
  Or in a pantomimic role be still. 
  We may find fame in field, or grace a court,
  Whate’er the play, forthwith its lines will start,
  And every soul, in cloister or in mart,
  Must act, and do his best from day to day—­
  So says the prompter to the human heart. 
  “The play’s the thing,” might Shakespear’s Hamlet say. 
  “The thing,” to us, is playing well our part.

EPILOGUE

  Walking in the Way

To hold to faith when all seems dark to keep of good courage when failure follows failure to cherish hope when its promise is faintly whispered to bear without complaint the heavy burdens that must be borne to be cheerful whatever comes to preserve high ideals to trust unfalteringly that well-being follows well-doing this is the Way of Life To be modest in desires to enjoy simple pleasures to be earnest to be true to be kindly to be reasonably patient and ever-lastingly persistent to be considerate to be at least just to be helpful to be loving this is to walk therein.

Charles A. Murdock

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