It Can Be Done, Poems of Inspiration (1 of 237)
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Collected by Joseph Morris and St. Clair Adams
This is a volume of inspirational poems. Its purpose is to bring men courage and resolution, to cheer them, to fire them with new confidence when they grow dispirited, to strengthen their faith that THINGS CAN BE DONE. It is better for this purpose than the entire works of any one poet, for it takes the cream of many and has greater diversity than any one writer can show.
It is made up chiefly of very recent poems--not such as were written for anthologies of poetical "gems," but such as speak directly to the heart, always in very simple language, often in the phrases of shop or office or street. Included, however, with the poems of the day are a few of the fine old pieces that have been of comfort to men through the ages.
Besides the poems themselves, the volume contains helps to their understanding and enjoyment. The pieces are introduced by short comments; these serve the same purpose as the strain played by the pianist before the singer begins to sing; they create a mood, give a point of view, throw light on the meaning of what follows. Also the lives of the authors are briefly summarized; this is in answer to our natural interest in the writer of a poem we like, and in the case of living poets it brings together facts hardly to be found anywhere else.
Finally, the book is not one to be read and then cast aside. It is to be kept as a constant companion and an unfailing recourse in weariness or gloom. Human companions are not always in the mood to cheer us, and may talk upon themes we dislike. But this book will converse or be silent, it is never out of sorts or discouraged, and so far from being wed to some single topic, it will speak to us at any time on any subject we desire.
To many authors and publishers acknowledgment is due for generous permission to use copyright material.
BE THE BEST OF WHATEVER YOU ARE
We all dream of great deeds and high positions, away from the pettiness and humdrum of ordinary life. Yet success is not occupying a lofty place or doing conspicuous work; it is being the best that is in you. Rattling around in too big a job is much worse than filling a small one to overflowing. Dream, aspire by all means; but do not ruin the life you must lead by dreaming pipe-dreams of the one you would like to lead. Make the most of what you have and are. Perhaps your trivial, immediate task is your one sure way of proving your mettle. Do the thing near at hand, and great things will come to your hand to be done.
If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley--but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass--
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can't be the sun be a star;
It isn't by size that you win or you fail--
Be the best of whatever you are!