Here is a kind of children’s poem you don’t see nowadays. It’s a sweet prayer, and I think it should be used again! I’m glad to be able to share the things I love with the world so others may enjoy them, also.
Keep me, Lord, from harm secure;
Keep me watchful, keep me pure;
Teach me from the bad to turn,
And the good alone to learn.
Should a playmate me entice
To a deed or thought of vice,
Draw me back, good angels all,
Lest I falter, lest I fall.
Let the thought of death be bright,
With a ray of heavenly light;
May I meet my parents dear
In a higher, happier sphere!
Good and modest let me be,
Seeking help, my God, from thee:
Fit me for that life above, —
Life of wisdom, life of love!
Next is another teaching story. It brings to my mind Goofus and Gallant from Highlights magazine. And while we are on the subject, one of my favorite parts of Highlights was Goofus and Gallant!
This is one of those that refers to the picture.
The Two Cakes
Did you ever hear the story of the two cakes?
I do not think you have heard it; so I will tell it to you, and I hope you will bear it in mind.
There were two boys who did not live at their own homes, but with the man to whose school they went.
These boys had each a large cake sent to them from home. When Paul got his cake, he said to him-self, “What a fine time I shall have cut’ting up this cake for the boys! How they will smack their lips! It will be fun to see them.
“Let me see: there will be nine of us if I count my-self in. I must cut it so as to make nine slices all of the same size. I could make eight slices of it more ea’si-ly; for I could cut the cake in-to quarters, and then halve each quarter. No mat’ter! I will find a way.”
And Paul did find a way. Where there is a will, there is a way, you know. He cut up the cake into eight slices, and then cut a small piece from each for him-self.
See the boys, as they gath’er round him! How they long to have a taste of the nice cake! And how kind they think it in Paul to rob him-self that he may please them.
But how was it with Ralph, the oth’er boy who had a cake sent to him? Ralph, when he saw the cake, said to himself, “Now I will put this in my trunk, and have a good feast on it every day till it is gone.”
He did not think of giv’ing one bit of that cake to any friend. He used to go where no one could see him, and eat till he could eat no more. But on the third day he was quite sick. You may guess, from his looks in the pict’ure, that he wished he had not been so self’ish.
See him seat’ed in the chair, with his arm on the table, and his hand at his head! “I wish,” said he to him-self, “they would not give me cake to make me sick. I wish I had thrown it all away.” But Ralph ought to know that all good things may do us harm if we make a wrong and greedy use of them. We may use, but not abuse, the good things of life.
The folks in the house had to send for the doc’tor; and Ralph had to take a dose that made him feel worse than he ev’er felt be-fore in his life. Paul came to see him, and took care for him; and, when Ralph got well, he made up his mind that Paul’s way is the best way, — that we ought not to live for our-selves a-lone, but try to do all the good we can, and to make oth’ers as hap’py as we can.
Are you a ‘Paul’ or a ‘Ralph’? Tell us! That’s what the comments are there for!