Tuesday, May 14, 2013


            (This was President Lincoln's favorite song, one which he encored
when sung at a Sunday School convention in Washington in 1864.)
If you cannot on the ocean
Sail among the swiftest fleet
Rocking on the highest billows.
Laughing at the storms 'you meet.
You can stand among the sailors.
Anchored yet within the bay.
You can lend a hand to help them
As they launch their boats away.
If you are too weak to journey
            Up the mountain, steep and high.
You can stand within the valley
            While the multitudes go by;
You can chant in happy measure
            As they slowly pass along­
Though they may forget the singer.
They will not forget the song.

If you have not gold and silver'
            Ever ready at command;
If you cannot toward the needy
            Reach an, ever-helping hand.
You can succor the afflicted.
            O'er the erring you can weep;
With the Saviour's true disciples
            '. You a tireless watch may keep.
If you cannot in the harvest
            Garner up the richest sheaves.
Many a grain, both ripe and golden.
            Oft the careless reaper leaves;
Go and glean among the briers
            Growing rank against the wall
For it may be that their shadow
            Hides the heaviest wheat of all.
If you cannot in the conflict
            Prove yourself a soldier true.
If where fire and smoke are thickest
            There's no work for you to do.
When the battlefield is silent.
            You can go with careful tread­
You can bear away the wounded.
            You can cover up the dead.
Do not. then, stand idly waiting
            For some greater work to do;
Fortune is a lazy goddess­
            She will never come to you.
Go and toil in any vineyard;
            Do not fear to do or dare­
If you want a field of labor
            You can find it anywhere.
            Mrs. Ellen M. H. Gates.

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