Ready For Duty

DAFFY-DOWN-DILLY came up in the cold, 

Through the brown mold, 

Although the March breezes blew keen on her face, 

Although the white snow lay on many a place.

Daffy-down-dilly had heard underground

The sweet rushing sound 

Of the streams as they burst off their white winter chains 

Of the whistling spring winds and the pattering rains.

"How, then," thought Daffy, deep down in her heart,

"It's time I should start." 

So she pushed her soft leaves through the hard, frozen ground, 

Quite up to the surface, and then she looked round.

There was snow all about her, gray clouds overhead,

The trees all looked dead; 

Then how do you think Daffy-down-dilly felt 

When the sun would not shine and the ice would not melt?

"Cold weather!" thought Daffy, still working away;

"The earth's hard to-day;

There's but a half-inch of my leaves to be seen, 

And two-thirds of that is more yellow than green.

"I can't do much yet, but I'll do what I can;

It's well I began;

For unless I can manage to lift up my head, 

The people will think that spring herself's dead."

So little by little she brought her leaves out,

All clustered about;

And then her bright flowers began to unfold, 

Till Daffy stood robed in her spring green and gold.

Oh, Daffy-down-dilly, so brave and so true!

I wish all were like you: 

So ready for duty in all sorts of weather, 

And showing forth courage and beauty together.



SIXTY seconds make a minute, 

How much good can I do in it? 

Sixty minutes make an hour, 

All the good that's in my power; 

Twenty hours and four, a day; 

Time for work and sleep and play; 

Days, three hundred sixty-five, 

Make a year for me to strive 

Right good things each day to do, 

That I wise may grow, and be true.