Poems and Prayers, Part 3
Why I Smile.
In quiet and calm solitude
smile because the world is fair;
Because the sky is blue.
Because I find, no matter where
I go, a friend that’s true.
I smile because the earth is green,
The sun so near and bright,
Because the days that o’er us lean
Are full of warmth and light.
I smile as past the yards I go,
Though strange and new the place,
The violets seem my step to know,
And look up in my face.
I smile to hear the robin’s note.
He comes so newly dressed,
A love song throbbing in his throat,
A rose pinned on his breast.
And so the truth I’ll not disown,
Because the spring is nigh;
My heart has somewhat better grown,
And I forget to sigh.
- by MRS. J. I. McKINNEY (“KATYDID”)
PEAK kindly in the morning,
When you are leaving home,
And give the day a lighter heart
Into the week to roam.
Leave kind words as mementoes
To be handled and caressed,
And watch the noon-time hour arrive
In gold and tinsel dressed.
Speak kindly in the evening!
When on the walk is heard
A tired footstep that you know,
Speak one refreshing word,
And see the glad light springing
From the heart into the eye,
As sometimes from behind a cloud
A star leaps to the sky.
Speak kindly to the children
That crowd around your chair,
The tender lips that lean on yours
Kiss, smooth the flaxen hair;
Some day a room that’s lonesome
The little ones may own,
And home be empty as the nest
From which the birds have flown.
Speak kindly to the stranger
Who passes through the town,
A loving word is light of weight—
Not so would prove a frown.
One is a precious jewel
The heart would grasp in sleep,
The other like a demon’s gift
The memory loathes to keep.
Speak kindly to the sorrowful
Who stand beside the dead,
The heart can lean against a word
Though thorny seems the bed.
And oh, to those discouraged
Who faint upon the way,
Stop, stop—if just a moment—
And something kindly say.
Speak kindly to the fallen ones,
Your voice may help them rise;
A word right-spoken oft unclasps
The gate beyond the skies.
Speak kindly, and the future
You’ll find God looking through!
Speak of another as you’d have
Him always speak of you.
- by MRS. J. I. McKINNEY (“KATYDID”)
God Be With Us
Now God be with us, for the night is closing;
The light and darkness are of His disposing;
And ’neath His shadow here to rest we yield us,
For He will shield us.
Let evil thoughts and spirits flee before us;
Till morning cometh, watch, O Master, o’er us;
In soul and body Thou from harm defend us,
Thine angels send us.
Let holy thoughts be ours when sleep o’ertakes us;
Our earliest thoughts be Thine when morning wakes us;
All day serve Thee, in all that we are doing
Thy praise pursuing.
As Thy beloved, soothe the sick and weeping,
And bid the prisoner lose his griefs in sleeping;
Widows and orphans, we to Thee commend them;
Do Thou befriend them.
We have no refuge, none on earth to aid us,
Save Thee, O Father, Who Thine own hast made us;
But Thy dear presence will not leave them lonely,
Who seek Thee only.
Father, Thy name be praised, Thy kingdom given;
Thy will be done on earth as ’tis in heaven;
Keep us in life, forgive our sins, deliver
Us now and ever.
Original Title: Die Nacht ist kommen, drin wir ruhen sollen.
Petrus Herbert, 1566, St. 5, Anon., 1627, Tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1863.
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