ONE step and then another, 

And the longest walk is ended; 

One stitch and then another,

And the largest rent is mended; 

One brick upon another,

And the highest wall is made; 

One flake upon another, 

And the deepest snow is laid.

So the little coral workers,

By their slow and constant motion, 

Have built those pretty islands

In the distant dark-blue ocean; 

And the noblest undertakings

Man's wisdom hath conceived, 

By oft-repeated effort

Have been patiently achieved.

Then do not look disheartened

On the work you have to do, 

And say that such a mighty task

You never can get through; 

But just endeavor day by day

Another point to gain, 

And soon the mountain, which you feared,

Will prove to be a plain!

"Rome was not built in a day,"

The ancient proverb teaches, 

And Nature, by her trees and flowers,

The same sweet sermon preaches. 

Think not of far-off duties,

But of doing what is near; 

And having once begun to work,

Resolve to persevere.




THE massive gates of circumstance 

Are turned upon the smallest hinge,

And thus some seeming pettiest chance 

Oft gives our life its after tinge.

The trifles of our daily lives,