Arms of Support

Trees

In every path of timber you
will always find a tree or two
that would have fallen long ago,
borne down by wind or age or snow,
had not another neighbor tree
held outs its arms in sympathy
and caught the tree that the storm had hurled
to earth. So, neighbors, is the world.

In every patch of timber stand
Samaritans of forest land:
the birch, the maple, oak and pine,
the fir the cedar, all in line.
In every wood, unseen, unknown,
they bear the burdens of their own
and bear as well another form,
some neighbor stricken in the storm.

Shall tree be nobler to their kind
than men, who boast the noble mind?
Shall there exist within the wood
this great eternal brotherhood
of oak and pine, of hill and fen,
and not within the hearts of men?
God grant that men are like to these,
and brothers, brotherly as trees.

Author unknown to me

That Foul Fiend “I CAN’T”

CAN’T

by Edgar Guest

Can’t is the worst word that’s written or spoken;
doing more harm here than slander and lies;
on it is many a strong spirit broken,
and with it many a good purpose dies.

It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each morning
and robs us of courage we need through the day;
it rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
and laughs when we falter and fall by the way.

Can’t is the father o feeble endeavor,
the parent of terror and half-hearted work;
it weakens the efforts of artisans clever
and makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.

It poisons the soul of the man with a vision;
it stifles in infancy many a plan;
it greets honest toiling with open derision
and mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a man.

Can’t is a word none should speak without blushing;
to utter it should be a symbol of shame.
Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
it blights a man’s purpose and shorten his aim.

Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
arm against it as a creature of terror
and all that you dream of, you someday shall gain.

Can’t is the word that is foe to ambition,
an enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
its prey is forever the man with a mission
and bows but to courage and patience and skill.

Hate it, with hatred that’s deep and undying,
for once it is welcomed ‘twill break any man;
whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
and answer this demon by saying, “I CAN.”

From his book, Along Life’s Highway
© 1933 by the Reilly and Lee Company

Touching Shoulders With You

Author Unknown

There’s a comforting thought at the close of the day
when I’m weary, lonely and sad
that sort of grips my crusty old heart
and bids it be merry and glad.
It gets in my soul and drives out the blues
and finally thrills me through and through;
it’s just a sweet memory that chants the refrain
“I’m glad I touched shoulders with you.”

Did you know you were brave, did you know you were strong?
Did you know there was one leaning hard?
Did you know I waited and listened and prayed
and was cheered by your simplest word?
Did you know I longed for the smile on your face
and the sound of your voice singing true?
Did you know I grew stronger and better because
I had merely touched shoulders with you

I am glad that I live, that I battle and strive
for I place I know I must fill.
I’m thankful for sorrows I’ll meet with a grin;
fortune may send me good or ill.
I may not have wealth, I may not be great
but I know I shall always be true,
for I have in my life that courage you gave
when I once touched shoulders with you.

Honor Merited

IT COULDN’T BE DONE

by Edgar Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest,
©1934 by the Reilly & Lee Co