DEAR children, you must seek

Rather to be good than wise,

For the thoughts you do not speak

Shine out in your cheeks and eyes.

If you think that you can be 

Cross or cruel, and look fair,

Let me tell you how to see 

You are quite mistaken there.

Go and stand before the glass, 

And some ugly thought contrive,

And my word will come to pass 

Just as sure as you're alive.

What you have, and what you lack, 

All the same as what you wear,

You will see reflected back; 

So, my little folks, take care!

And not only in the glass

Will your secrets come to view;

All beholders, as they pass, 

Will perceive and know them too.

Goodness shows in blushes bright, 

Or in eyelids drooping down,

Like a violet from the light; 

Badness, in a sneer or frown.

Out of sight, my boys and girls, 

Every root of beauty starts;

So think less about your curls,

More about your minds and hearts.

Cherish what is good, and drive 

Evil thoughts and feelings far;

For, as sure as you're alive,

You will show for what you are.

Alice Gary