Front Matter
 Benny, the busy boy
 Where were the boys?
 The old mill
 The cottage
 The school-house
 Ira's time for going to school,...
 Tuesday: What will drive away sleep,...
 The garden
 What the still small voice said...
 Wednesday: What Benny thought of...
 Thursday: Work for to-day
 Good thoughts
 Friday: The unlucky day
 The fruit of good thoughts
 The visit
 Saturday: The weary idle boy, with...
 The Donation
 Sunday: The Holy morning
 Sabbath thoughts
 The eyes that saw not
 The Sabbath school
 The sequel

Group Title: Ira the idle and Benny the busy boy : in verse
Title: Ira the idle and Benny [the busy boy]
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003568/00001
 Material Information
Title: Ira the idle and Benny the busy boy in verse
Alternate Title: Ira the idle and Benny the busy boy
Physical Description: 56 p., p 1 leaf of plates : ill. ; 14 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Maxwell, M. H. ( Mary H. ), 1815-1891 ( Author, primary )
Carlton & Porter ( Publisher )
Methodist Episcopal Church -- Sunday School Union ( Publisher )
Publisher: Carlton & Porter
Sunday-School Union
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1851
Copyright Date: 1851
Subject: Boys -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Idleness -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Work -- Juvenile poetry   ( lcsh )
Children's poetry -- 1851   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Children's poetry   ( rbgenr )
poetry   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
General Note: Title from running title; Baldwin Library copy missing part of t.p.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy missing part of t.p. and p. 1-10 of text.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. M.H. Maxwell.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003568
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002234087
notis - ALH4504
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Matter
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Benny, the busy boy
        Page 11
    Where were the boys?
        Page 11
    The old mill
        Page 12
    The cottage
        Page 13
        Page 14
    The school-house
        Page 15
    Ira's time for going to school, and why
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Tuesday: What will drive away sleep, and make a boy feel brave
        Page 19
    The garden
        Page 20
        Page 21
    What the still small voice said to the little boy
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Wednesday: What Benny thought of the sweat law
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Thursday: Work for to-day
        Page 29
    Good thoughts
        Page 30
    Friday: The unlucky day
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The fruit of good thoughts
        Page 33
    The visit
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Saturday: The weary idle boy, with the brisk diligent boy
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    The Donation
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Sunday: The Holy morning
        Page 42
    Sabbath thoughts
        Page 43
        Page 44
    The eyes that saw not
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The Sabbath school
        Page 48
        Page 49
    The sequel
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
Full Text

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Be not like the horse, that needs bit and bridle;
And be not, my reader, like Ira, the idle-
Pray choose the right way, the wrong ways are
But walk in the pathway once traveled by Benny.
'Tis the very same path by the good ways trod
Of duty, of safety,-it leadeth to Gld.
Though dark in the onset, it grows very bright,
Enchanting the soul with its heavenly light,
S'Till at last it will blend with the hope' that is
And be lost in the glorious effulgence of heave. -m


Up and down the flow'ry lawn,
Buzz'd the busy bee;-
"I '11 not be a lazy drone,
There is work for me."

All this time upon his bed,
Idle Ira lay;-
Dozing still, the sleepy head
Knew not it was day.
Yet his busy cousin, Ben,
Scamper'd far and near;
And the sturdy workingmen
Met with hearty cheer.
" Ira, up!" It was a voice
Lively, strong, and shrill;
Ira murmur'd, "What a noise!
Strange they can't be still."
" Ira, up !" said Marielle,
At his chamber door;
"Did'nt you hear the breakfa i
Ring an hour ago ?"
"Ira, up !" said coadn Ben,
You will b fool;
Here with j 81 and pen,
I am fr

S 11

-0*-6Vp (-.-


Up and down the flow'ry lawn,
Buzz'd the busy bee;-
"I '11 not be a lazy drone,
There is work for me."

All this time upon his bed,
Idle Ira lay;-
Dozing still, the sleepy head
Knew not it was day.
Yet his busy cousin, Ben,
Scamper'd far and near;
And the sturdy workingmen
Met with hearty cheer.
" Ira, up!" It was a voice
Lively, strong, and shrill;
Ira murmur'd, "What a noise!
Strange they can't be still."
" Ira, up !" said Marielle,
At his chamber door;
"Did'nt you hear the breakfa i
Ring an hour ago ?"
"Ira, up !" said coadn Ben,
You will b fool;
Here with j 81 and pen,
I am fr

S 11

-0*-6Vp (-.-

Ira turned upon his bed,
Answer'd, "By-and-by;
There's a throbbing in my head,
Motes are in my eye.
"If I lie and sleep awhile,
It may work a cure;
If I dress, and run a mile,
It will kill me, sure."
Down the stairway Benny flew,
Down the mossy hill;
Quickly found the spot where grew
Berries by the mill.

How merry, with its load of grain,
The hopper shakes its sides!
The "great wheel" manufactures rain,
As round and round it glides.
But Benny did not come to see
The hopper shake its sides;
6 A4bit of work to do," said he,
And something else besides."
With gentle h'qd he parted there
The tall gass q its bed;
And smiling, pick'd~i tidy care,
The strawberries 19a %d red.
.~_-, .* --r? *^ i. .. "^ ^ -


And then he quickly cross'd the road,
And with his tempting store,
And hat in hand, he smiling stood,
Before a cottage door.

A little maiden, poorly clad,
Came out, to whom he said,
"Don't strawberries make your brother glad,
Sweet strawberries, ripe and red ?"
"0 yes," said Abba, and a tear
Came stealing down her cheek;
"He eats but very little, dear,
And grows extremely weak."
For Abba's brother had been ill
For many a long, long day;
And in two graves, beneath the hill,
Both of their parents lay.
And they, with toilsome care, had strove
To gain a livelihood;
Depending on.His constant love
Who gives the ravens food.
At last poor Thomas pined away, j
And could not work nor eat;
So little Abba, day by day,
Was kept upon her feet,


And sometimes felt so tired and sad,
She knew not what to do;
But Benny often made them glad,
And very thankful too.

The wise! the wise! In every clime,
In every land they dwell,
Who understand the worth of time,
.And how to use it well.

Who has this wisdom has a gem
Of purer, better worth,
Than sparkles in the diadem,
Or hides within the earth.

For those who learn to do with might,
Whate'er they find to do,-
To use each passing day aright,
Each hour, and moment too,-

Will find that time is long enough
To raise the drooping head;
To make the path less hard and rough
The poor and sorrowing tread.

To such, each day will give some hour
' Of rainbow-tinted hue;
All fragrant is the blooming flower
Of mercy's work to do.

And Benny, both in heart and head,
This secret understood;
And running off to school, he said,
I've done a little good.
" Have done a little good," said he,
As off he ran to school;
And always sure in time to be,
He never broke this rule.


It stood upon a knoll,
And there were trees around,
Through which we saw a river roll
Along the meadow ground.
And blue-bells cluster'd there,
And water lilies grew;
In summer-time the scene was fair,
Surpassing fair to view.
But neither lilies white,
Nor bells of bonnie blue,
To busy Benny gave delight
Wheb there was work to do.
&bys jogg'd his elbow there,
They whispered funny things;
But still intlt, with -dious care,
He cropped his fans wings.


Jack Curious sought to pry
Out Benny's knack at study;
But Benny gave not ear nor eye
To any busy-body.
The idle gaped at him,
O'er books turn'd upside down;
But Benny minded not the whims
Of wooden-headed olowns.
And careless boys, a score,
Who never stopped to think,
Threw Benny's books upon the floor,
And spatter'd them with ink.
But all good-natured yet,
His time he would not waste,
By using it to scold and fret,
t But made the greater haste.

The sun hadalmost gained
Its noon-mark in the sky,
Ere idle Ira reached the school
With tear-drops in his eye.
The tear-dr$6o in his eye, my frineds!
Aye, on Whi nose and cheeks
They rai,:k thbgutter stream ,
AdownilB dirty streets.

For when poor Ira left his bed,
Feeling near fifty old,
He found his muffins hard as lead,
His coffee black and cold.

He jerk'd the coffee-pot about,
And twirl'd the muffins o'er;
He thought the things might boil and bake
A half a day, or more.

He called the maid uncomely names,
But she was very cool;
Just telling him 't was half-past ten,
And nearly time for school.

At this he cried full half an hour.
Which made it late, you know;-
Too late, of course, to wash his face,
And so he let it go. "I.

The largest class was up to spell
When Ira came to school;
The teacher very mildly said,
"Here is a broken rule."

At this the boy broke out afresh,
And cried till school was done;
And then thb teacher indly said,
"Why were you late, my son ?"

Said he, "A mote was in my eye,
A throbbing in my head;
I really thought that I must die,
And so I kept my bed."

"Yes," said the teacher, that is true,-
A mote is in your eye;
You cannot see your work to do,
And therefore will not try.

"This mote, my boy, is love of ease;
The sluggard knows it well;
He wonders how the busy bees
Can ever build a cell.

"He wonders how the morning sun
Ascends the eastern sky;
But most of all, how work is done
By means of earnest 'Try.'

"This secret I will tell to you,
And beg you to attend;
Life has important work to do,
My idle little friend..

"Each day, each hour, each moment brief,
Bestow'd for faithful use,
Will sorrow bring, anoj hopeless grief,
If we the gift abuse.

"Our days of childhood, free from care,
Should firmly fix the root;
The soil, the seed, the twig prepare,
For after years of fruit.
"Now is your spring-time, little boy,
Your mind the plastic soil;
If you at last would reap with joy,
Sow seed with patient -toil.
"Fill up each moment of your day
With useful deed or thought;
In hours of study, work, or play,
The thoughtful boy is taught.
Then rise! awake! and nobly try,
A conquest you will gain;
The m6tes will vanish from your eye,
The fever from your brain."

Our Mondays quickly pass away,
And Tuesday soon appears;
Thus glide our weeks, day after day,
And thus our fleeting years.
Brief are our moments, yet they tell '
On future good or ill;

Our sum of happiness to swell,
Or cup of woe to fill.
"'T is Tuesday morning," Benny said,
The week will soon be gone;
And if I waste my hours in bed,
My work will not be done.
"'T is true that I am drowsy yet,
And much inclined to sleep;
But with cold water I will wet
My head, and hands, and feet.
"Nay more; I'11 take a cooling shower,
Then dash, and plunge, and lave;
Cold water has the wond'rous power
To make a body brave.

Beneath the bed-room window, where
Brave Benny took his bath,
Border'd each side with fragrant flowers,
There was a narrow path.
And ere the sun had reached the sky,
Along that path he ran;
SThen through a gateway Benny pass'd,
And soon his work began.
Said he, Good culture will insure
An early crop of peas;


And father says that I shall have
Much fruit from all my trees.
"I see my land will yield a store,
Which I have leave to sell;
But what to buy with all this wealth
I'm sure I cannot tell.
"I think of many pretty things,
Enticing to a boy;
But then I want my wealth to yield
More than a transient joy:
"Hush hark! I surely heard a voice,
And yet no form I see;
The lark has not begun her work,
Nor yet the honey-bee.
But I will listen patiently;
Perhaps the voice may tell
How I may gain a lasting joy
By spending money well."

Let those who wish to hear the truth,
Thus bid their hearts be still;
God speaks to manhood, age, and youth,
And those may hear who will.
,The pealing thunder rends the sky,
And says that God is great;



The forked lightning as they fly,
His kingly bidding wait.
The wind that rends the mountain rock,
t And swells the billow high;
The whirlwind's wrath, the earthquake's
The storm that sweeps the sky,-
Obedient to a high command,
Are silent as the dead;
God binds the billow with his hand
Fast to the ocean's bed.
His still small voice controls the flood,
All nature owes its sway:
Thus man, who hears the voice of God,
Should listen and obey.

Once on a time, at balmy eve,
When nature was at rest,
A snowy dove was seen to leave
The bowers of the blest.
Down to this world of pain and care,
To hearts oppress'd by sin,
It swiftly flew, that dove so fair,
And sought to enter in.



It waited till the drops of night
Were cold upon its breast;
It waited till the moon's pale light
Had faded from the west.

And when the sunlight on the hill
Proclaim'd the king of day,
The tireless watcher, waiting still,
Prolong'd its patient stay.

It brought the gift of peace to earth,
And now, 'mid shades of night,
The heavenly dove goes boldly forth,
And sows the seeds of light.

When birds, and bees, and little boys,
Are wrapped in slumber deep,
The patient dove-the still small voice-
The morning-watch will keep.

Then learn to know its gentle tone,
To listen and obey;
'T will guide your feet where'er you roam,
'T will cheer and bless your way,-

Will teach you how to u e aright
All earthly treasures given;
How righteous deeds with gold unite,
To lay up wealth in heaven.


If you are poor, this faithful guide
Will fix your trust in God;
And thus your feet shall never slide,
While on life's dangerous r9ad. /

As Ira pass'd by Benny's garden so green,
He called it the finest he ever had seen; I
And he said to himself, That garden of mine
Has never a flower, a tree, or a vine;
The thorns and the thistles grow over the wall,
: The fire-weed and pig-weed are ever so tall;
Not a squash-vine nor bean-pole, no cabbage
nor peas,
Nb house for the pigeons, no hive for the bees.
Strange that father should give such a poor lot
of land,
Or imagine a garden could spring from the sand.
Happy Benny! how everything comes to hi.
All this time brave Benny was hoeing away,
And listening to all idle Ira might say;
But when the boy murmur'd because of his land,
And said that to Benny all things were on hand,
Benny paused for a moment, and wiping away
The sweat on his brow, where in large drops it lay,


He said, There's a law made on purpose for
It was given to Adam in the form of a curse ;
But our Father in heaven the law understood,
And made its obedience productive of good.
I speak of the 'sweat law,' by which it waasaid
The children of Adam should always eat break
Now, Ira, my friend, God has given to us
A blessing, concealed in this primitive curse;
But this blessing unbounded no mortal e'er saw,
Who despised, and obey'd not the great laor'
Man must wipe off the stain from the face of the,
earth, '
By making it good as it was at its birth.
When once we behold the rich fruits of our work,
We shall wonder at idleness, pity the shirk,
And declare in our hearts that we see not a flaw,
In the wisdom enacting the great labor law.
But one thing I wish you might well under-
And that is, how everything comes to my hand.
Take time by the forelock, my poor little friend,
eid everything else to your purpose will bend.
n the right kind of work at the right minute
) is done,
Then duties keep pace with the earth round the


But there are some persons who, having their
Would command both the sun and the moon to
stand still.
'The days are so short,' they often complain,
Their efforts at doing are always in vain;
For noon is soon treading on the heels of the
And the night-shades come on ere the noonlight
is gone.
'Thus folding their hands they swing like the
'Till the summer is past, and the harvest is o'er;
. But though time is short, it has teeth that will
On the heart which obeys not the great labor

As Ira walked along to school,
He thought the subject o'er,
And said, if he had known this rule,
For seizing time before,
He might have well employed the spring \*
With shovel, rake, and hoe;
But now it was a foolish thing
To plough, to plant, and sow.



But if I live another year,
(Thus idle Ira said,)
This rule my after-course shall steer,
This law shall be obey'd."
And then he dream'd of apples red,
Of peaches very fine;
Of strawberries on their leafy bed,
And grapes upon the vine;
Of flowers, where busy honey-bees
Would hum from morn to noon;
Of verdant shoots, and waving trees,
In all the pride of June.
"Another year," said Ira then,
As warm his fancy grew,
"And I will show this busy Ben
What wonders I can do/'
Indeed, my boy! how do you know
That God will give to you
The autumn fruit, the winter's snow,
The spring with work to do.
You see, my little reader, how
Presumptuous he had grown;
You understand 'tis only now
That we can call our own.
The future, with its fruits and flowers,
On man is not bestow'd;


Its years and months, its days and hours,
Belong alone to God.
Now is the time that he has given-
The present is our own;
And weal or woe, on earth, in heaven,
Depends on this alone.
If now we do the thing we ought,
And thus are always sure
To heed the truth, by conscience taught,
Our future is secure.
For, though our time should pass away,
Like. summer clouds and rain,
Yet who improves the shortest day
Can never live in vain.
Now what the future might bring forth,
Poor Ira would recount;
But of the present's golden worth
He made but small account.
Thus many foolish spend
A life of idle dreams;
Their days begin, progress, and end,
And folly intervenes.
No purpose formed, no good achieved,
No high resolve fulfilled;
No joy enhanced, no grief relieved,
No evil passion still'd.


They wait a golden time to come,
Their moments to redeem;
They wait till time to them is gone,
And death concludes their dream.

It was too late, we all agree,
For Ira then to plough;
But yet we all should like to see
What he is doing now.
We do not wish for vain regrets
His little heart to pain,
For these can never pay our debts,
Nor answer Justice's claims.
God does not ask for tears nor sighs;-
He kindly says.to you,
"My children, let the past suffice,
Wherein you failed to do,
"And if the time has glided by
Wherein you should have strove,
Begin just now, and nobly try
The present to improve."
But Ira does not heed that voice:
Ah! sad am I to say,


At school, among the idle boys,
I see him still at play.

Snug in his corner Benny sits,
With calm and thoughtful eyes;
He wastes no time in vain regrets
That time is passing by:

For passing time can only bring
Good to the faithful boy;
To him will come a blooming spring,
A harvest-time of joy.

Idle brains are in pain for some mischief to do,
The secret of which I will bring to your view.
If good thoughts are stored away snug in the head,
Then captive to evil the heart is not led;
For the head is a storehouse, it has lodgings to let,
And I have ne'er seen it quite tenantless yet;
For if we are tardy in storing it well,
There is one who will fill up the poor empty shell;
Who goes about daily, and seeks to devour
The idler, who readily yields to his power.
Now just look at Benny: you see that his head
Is neither a bell, nor a dull lump of lead;
Nor is it a toy-house of trinkets for show,
The use of which nobody ever could knrw.
'' ,rr


He has stored it quite full of material for thought,
In the snare of the idle he cannot be caught,
So by the great tempter he seldom is soif.
I look in the face of this diligent boyi, .
And there read a story of innocent joy.
Do you see it, my reader,shine forth from his eye ?
You will read it in action, I think, by-and-bye:
For a beautiful thought of some good to be done,
Sheds a light on his brow like the rays of the sun;
But plans for thePuture have never the power,
To lure him away from the work of the hour

It was morning; but still on his bed Ira lay,
SFor Friday," he said, was an unlucky day,.
And he should consider it well-nigh a sin,
Any work on this unlucky day to begin."
Equally wicked he thought any work to conclude,
"For my reasons," said he, "are exceedingly good
Work begun on a Friday will never be done,
And this terrible sign everybody should shun."
So to shut out the daylight he covered hs head,
And sleeping, he dream'd he had just gone to bed.
"Breakfast's ready-pray get up !" his kind sister
But ra was quiet as if he were dead.



At last of the muffins he happened to think,
And the coffee aground on the islands of ink.
"If it were not for this," idle Ira then said,
"It were better to spend every Friday in bed."
And so we might think; for, in going down stairs,
We shall shortly behold how this lazy boy fares.
Said his father, I told you to pile up that wood,
And, my son, I am sure that you well understood
That it should have been finished completely last
But when I came home you were flying your kite.
There's a rule in the Bible which this case will meet:
If a boy will not work, no more shall he eat.
Now begin on your wood-pile in earnest, my son,
Your breakfast is ready when that is well done."
Ira put on his hat and went grumbling away,
And piling his wood he did mournfully say,
it I knew 't would be so-'t is an unlucky day!"
But breakfast ahead was a spur to the boy,
And we saw that he knew how his hands to em-
So the wood-pile was finished amazingly quick,
And it looked, I assure you, quite even and slick
All square on its brother laid each little stick;
And Ira, amazed, saw that one job was done,
Which on Friday, the unlucky day, was begun.
And this, little reader, may teach you and I,
All days are alike to the hands that will try.



As for Ira, he ne'er felt so well in his life,
His appetite sharpen'd up keen as a knife.
He said not a word though the breakfast was cold,
The boy was too hungry for stopping to scold;
He would have felt nobly as boy ever did,
Had he done it in season, and when he was bid;
And had he begun from that hour to amend,
He ne'er would have come to the idle boy's end.

You know we saw good Benny's face
All radiant with joy;
And knew a happy thought possessed
The active little boy.

And this was true; for Friday night,
When all his work was done,
He ask'd his father if he might
To Abba's cottage run;-

And leave obtained, he brought in haste
A basket from his shelf;-
"Thomas," said he, "my peas shall taste
Before I do myself."

"For God has given health to me,
Whitl he is sick and poor;
The reason why, I cannot see,-
I am no better sure.
**. ,



"Perhaps this difference, in part,
Should thus be understood:-
God would that man should have a heart
To do his neighbor good.
"And so, to some, he gives of wealth
And joy, abundant store;
While others pine with feeble health,
All sorrowing and poor.
"He means that all these gifts bestow'd,
With others we should share;
That all afflicted, next to God,
Should trust their neighbor's care."
So with these thoughts of good intent,
And deeds of righteousness,
By God approved, good Benny went,
The poor and sick to bless.

Long nights of pain, and weary days,
Appointed are to some;
The evening shade brings no relief,
And none the rising sun.
Thus Thomas pined from day to day,
And through the livelong night
And Abba often kept her watch
Until the morning light.


How sweet a smile to hearts oppress'd,
And sympathy how dear;
How softly Benny's soothing words
Fell on the sufferer's ear!
"Thomas," said he, you shall not want,
Our God is very good;
He decks the lilies, clothes the grass,
And gives the ravens food.
"He sends his sunlight and his dew
Upon my garden dear;
The blade is high, and soon will come
The ripe corn in the ear.
SAnd, Thomas, in a still small voice,
God whispers to my heart;
He bids me to the poor and sick
His bounteous gifts impart."
"My kindest friend," poor Thomas said,
I need not ask for more
Than God's rich blessing unto you
In basket and in store;
"For he that to the still small voice
Of God takes careful heed,
I feel assured will never let
His neighbor suffer need."
Then, promising to come again,
Kind Benny said, Good-night:"



The day was past, but in the sky
The moon and stars were bright.
With fearless step, he lightly trod
The pathway in the wood;
And thank'd the Lord, who gave him power
To do his neighbor good.

It was Saturday morning; the week was far spent,
And Ira walk'd out on no object intent.
"I am glad," said the boy, there is no school to-
But what shall I do for amusement, I pray ?
I will go and ask Benny to come out and play.
So he saunter'd along till he came to the stile,
Then peep'd through the hedge-row, and waited
And thus like a snail he wts crawling along,
When he heard Benny cheerfully singing a song.
"Good-morning," said Ira; how are you to-day ?
I want you to come to the mill-dam, and play."
"0 no," answered Benny, I am going away."
"And where are you going ?" asked Ira; pray
"To market," said Benny, "some produce to sell."

[I 1 i^t



" How lucky you are !" said the poor idle boy;
" These moments of leisure how much you enjoy!
And then for your squashes, potatoes, and peas,
Your apples and peaches, now green on the trees,
You will get an abundance of money I know-
Shall you spend it, dear Benny, or keep it to show ?
I should buy figs and raisins and candy to eat;
I could spend half a fortune for things that are
And then I should purchase a great many toys,
To put in my play-house, and show to the boys;
And pretty books, Benny, with pictures so odd,-
Not books that are sober, and tell about God;
For these are the kind that I never can read,
They make me unhappy, O very, indeed.
But tell me, I pray you, What do you intend
To do with the cash you will soon have to spend?"
"I can tell you," said Benny, what I shall not
I would rather my produce would die where it
Than go to the market, and changing to cash,
Should fill up my pockets with mischievous trash.
Do you know, master Ira, that sweetmeats are rife
With a slow-working poison destructive to life ?
And so to the mind are the books you desire,-
Pray what noble deed did they ever inspire ?
They only are useful when kindling a fire.

But you spake of expending my money for toys,-
You and I, my good fellow, are pretty large boys:
I am almost eleven, you are turning of ten;
In a very few summers we both shall be men:
Let us leave toys to babies; the days of our prime
Demand of our childhood improvement of time."
"But what will you do with your money, my
If you neither buy picture-book, sweetmeat, nor
toy ?"
Thus questioned our Ira, who, under the trees
Was lying, while Benny was picking -his-peas.
"I shall not be a miser," said Benny, "nor
I mean to remember the poor and the needy.
W,. ith me you shall go to the house in the wood,
And see how refreshing it is to do good."

Up the sky the moon was climbing;
On his bed, with sickness pining,
Lay poor Thomas sadly there,
Listening to the voice of prayer.
By his low couch, humbly kneeling,
Abba pray'd with fervent feeling :-
Heavenly Father, from the sky
Bend on us a pitying eye.


"Thou our parents both hast taken,-
Shall we live bereft, forsaken,
Sorrowing, suffering and poor ?
If so, teach us to endure.

"Cheer us with the promise given
Of a happy home in heaven-
Where no sorrow enters in,
Hunger, thirst, disease, nor sin.

"Save us, Father, from repining;
Cheerfully our will resigning,
May we say with Christ, thy Son,
Not my will, but thine be done."

Prayer, the fount of life unsealing,
Brings a balm of precious healing;
So felt Thomas sweetly then,
As he softly breathed, "Amen."

Peace around that couch was brooding,
Fear and care no more intruding;
To their hearts a whisper said,
" It is I, be not afraid."

Shadows o'er the woods were creeping,
Through the leaves the moonbeams peeping,
When good Benny doff'd his cap,
Knocking gently, rap, tap, tap.



"I know very well," said Abba, who knocks;
There is Benny, with wheelbarrow, basket, and
Then opening the door with expressions of joy,
She cordially welcomed the good little boy;
And followed by Ira he entered the door,
Where the idle boy never had entered before.
But taking his hand, up to poor Thomas's bed,
His indolent cousin our good Benny led-
Ira felt rather sheepish, and turn'd very red.
Said Benny, "Dear Thomas, pray how do
you do ?
In my boxes and baskets is something for you;
"And I trust, my dear friend, it will do you much
You need medicine, Thomas, and suitable food.
And since God, in his mercy, has given to me
A body as stout as the trunk of a tree,
An appetite sharp as the edge of a hatchet,
And plenty of eatables, Thomas, to match it,
I should call it, my friend, a most ungrateful
STo forget in my fullness the poor and the sick:
I have never been left to that wicked course yet;
'The voice in my heart will not let me forget.


For Abba I purchased a bonnet and dress,-
Very plain, my dear Abba, I promptly confess,
But good as my limited means could afford,
And now you can go to the house of the Lord."
Abba answered, with tears, that she -gladly
would pay
Her vows to the Lord on the next holy day ;
Then with silence more grateful than thanks
ever breathe,
They pressed Benny's hand as he started to
From our Father in heaven all good gifts de-
And they thank'd him that night for the gift of
a friend.
Now Ira, it seem'd, had grown suddenly dumb:
He spake not a word as he trudged along home.
Benny did not inquire of what he was musing,
Hoping much that his cousin a good part was
That he was now weighing, in balances nice,
The moments so fleeting, and counting their
That he would now wake from his indolent
And begin from that evening his time to redeem.



The Sabbath morning brightly dawn'd,
On hill and dewy vale;
The stars had faded one by one,
The "queen of night" was pale.
In gorgeous folds of golden light,
Upon the mountain cone,
The "king of day," with lordly state,
Arose and brightly shone.
Those rays had left the beaming sky,
Their azure pathway trod;
And on the earth they linger'd now,
As messengers of God.
They spake in floods of golden light,
That man might hear the voice
Of Him who bade the morning stars
With sons of God rejoice,-
Rejoice that earth had burst its chain,
Cast off its watery screen,
And now above te heaving main
Appeared in robes of green.
But well hath sacred poet taught,
Howe'er this truth may seem,


'T was great to speak a world from naungt
'T was greater to redeem.
If sons of God and morning stars
Hallow'd the day of rest,
When earth had broke its watery bars
And reared its verdant crest,
Let man the joyful chorus take,
The sacred strains repeat,
To Him who died that he might make
Creation's work complete.

Good Benjamin had laid his head
In peace upon his quiet bed:
A well-spent day to him had brought
The sleep that Ira vainly sought;
For Ira turned upon his pillow,
As on the ocean rolls the billow.
The sea casts up its dirt and mire,
The sinner wastes with vain desire; j
Both seek for rest, but find it not- a
Peace never was the sinner's lot.
But those who choose the way of right,
Do what they find to do with might,
Will find that peace is not so coy;
She comes unbidden, bringing joy,



And makes a permanent abode
With those who keep the law of God.
Thought Benny, as he raised his eye,
And saw the brightly-beaming sky,
I must arise; this day has come
To tell me of my heavenly home,
The land of everlasting bliss,
More pure, serene, and blest than this;
Pray God that land I may not miss.
But if I gain that land, I know
I must be diligent below-
Improve the means that God has given,
And strive to lay up wealth in heaven.
Then Benny rose, his Bible took,
And read from the eternal book-
Not carelessly, as we peruse
A page of unimportant news,
But earnestly, as miners toil
For gold that lies beneath the soil;
For in that Book there lies concealed
A treasure, never yet revealed
To those who scan with careless eye
This message coming from the sky.
Now Benny knew he could not scan
The mighty scheme, the wondrous plan,
By which God saves rebellious man;
He knew his understanding blind,
He felt the darkness of his mind.


" The truth," said he, "I cannot love,
Without its Spirit from above;
So grant that Spirit, Lord, to me,-
(And Benny bow'd the suppliant knee.)
My Saviour, life, and truth, and way,
Now teach a little boy to pray;
For I have tried, this long week through,
Most patiently my work to do;
But now I see a work sublime,
Compared to which the work of time,
Though filled with anxious strife and care,
Is but a mote upon the air.
Forbid that I should ever bend
My powers to an unmeaning end;
O teach me how the good to choose,
And how the evil to refuse;
To do the work appointed me,
Not unto man, but unto thee."


While thus his Bible Benny took,
And read from the eternal Book,
And sought, with earnest thought and care,
The living water gushing there,
With humble faith and fervent prayer,
Poor Ira, lying fast asleep,
Saw not the golden sunbeams peep


So brightly o'er the wood-crown'd hill,
O'er dewy vale and sparkling rill;-
Saw not the blessed Sabbath dawn
On waving field and flowery lawn;
But, wrapped in heavy slumber, lay
While dawn'd the holy Sabbath day.
Then on his door there came a rap,
Which broke his Sabbath-morning nap.
Said Marielle, "I came to see
If you would rise and learn with me
The lesson for the Sabbath school;
The morning now is fresh and cool,
The lark is singing in our bower,
The dewdrops sparkling on the flower,
The bee is on the honey cup;
Now, dearest brother, pray get up,
So that we may not lag behind
And grieve our Sabbath teachers kind."
Well, well," said Ira, I am coming;
Pray stop your talking, and your drumming.
I 've hardly slept a wink to-night,
My nerves are in a dreadful plight;
But I'11 get up, so go away,
I know it is the Sabbath day-
Ho, hum! I wish that I could stay."
So to the pleasant garden bower,
Where wreathed the vine and bloom'd the

Without her brother Ella went,
On perfect lessons now intent-
A happy girl was Marielle,
For with the virtuous all is well.
"Now," Ira said, when left alone,
How glad I am that she is gone;
I won't get up till I'm awake,
For Sabbath school nor teacher's sake."
So saying, Ira covered o'er
His head, as snug as e'er before,
And tried to go to sleep again,
But got his labor for his pain;
For something whisper'd, Do you know
What you last night resolved to do ?
When you saw Benny good and true,
And blest so much in doing good,
The secret then was understood,
And you resolved to rise at once,
And be no more an idle dunce.
And so I do," said Ira then;
The "small voice" gently whispered,
" 0 by-and-by," poor Ia said,
And yawning, turned upon his bed;-
"Not now,-I want to go to sleep;
Why need my heart this talking keep ?"
Ah! let me tell you, "By-and-by"
Was never seen by mortal eye;



Now is your time, poor little boy,-
Now, to improve; now, to employ.
Seize, then, the moment God has given,
Work for the world, and live for heaven.

I hear a pleasant sound
Upon the morning air;
I hear the song of praise around,-
I hear the voice of prayer.
Young voices blending now,
In harmony divine;
Now rising high, now breathing low,
The strains almost sublime.
Whence come these pleasing notes,
Borne on the morning breeze ?
Is it the bird that upward floats,
The wood-dove on the trees ?
No; where young feet have trod,
To taste instruction given;
'T is coming from the house of God,
The very gate of heaven.
And there is Marielle,
Her Sabbath lesson learned;
Her sparkling eyes will plainly tell
The joy she well has earned.

And there is Benny, too,
With calm and serious brow;
He finds important work to do,
And nobly does it, now.

There, too, is gentle Abba,-
(May God poor Abba bless i)
She does not look all worn and shabby,
But wears her nice new dress.

Her eyes are sparkling bright,
Beneath her pretty bonnet;
Joy comes to Benny with the sight,--
I 'm sure that he has done it.

But where is Ira, where ?
I do not hear his song;
I do not see him smiling there
Amid the happy throng.

I do not hear his voice,-
The school is not complete;
How can the teacher's heart rejoice
When there's a vacant seat ?

Where is poor Ira, where ?
Just crawling from his bed;
His heart is full of grief and care,
His eyes are dull as lead.

Alas, poor idle boy!
I read it in your eye,-
If duty lingers, so must joy-
It waits for by-and-by "

A week upon life's journey,
Though very short it be,
Will oft inform us truly
Of what the year will be.
The year, though swiftly stealing,
With earnest truth is rife;
The longer path revealing-
The path of human life.
Who trifles with the morning,
May see, as in a glass,
And well should heed the warning;
That thus his day will pass.
From morn to dewy even,
Is but a single day;
But when we number seven,
SA week has pass'd away.
Then talk not of the morrow,-
Be wise, be wise to-day;
Regret, remorse, and sorrow
Tread close upon delay.


Now Ira heard this warning,
And knew its earnest truth;
But said, "'Tis only morning,-
These are the days of youth.

"When I'm a little older,
I '11 work with all my might;
For then I shall be bolder
In labor, truth, and right."

Thus talks a foolish dreamer;-
The man of might, my lad,
Was ne'er an idle schemer,
But used what strength he had.

God gives us strength in measure.-
Not in abundant store;
If we improve the treasure,
He always offers more.

And with more strength more labor,
More work at home, abroad;
For kinsman, friend, and neighbor,
Our country-world-and God.

But Ira wasted hours,
So days became forlorn;
'" He played with spring-time flowers,-
They droop'd, and left the thorn.


Then came the hour of trial,
The heat of manhood's day,
When toil and self-denial
Narrow the rugged'way.
And now, alas! the power
He might have had in store,
Becomes, in manhood's hour,
Like wavelets on the shore.
But he is old in dreaming,
Though but a babe in might;
He sees the fire-fly gleaming,
And still pursues its light.
"To-morrow, 0 to-morrow !
Of time, that is the best;
Then I some strength shall borrow
From this long time of rest."
But time, who never lingers,
Nor waits, nor idly lags,
Quick slips from idle fingers,
And leaves the man in rags.
This was the mournful ending
In idle Ira's case;
Above him soon was bending
A wan and meagre face.
But though the face was meagre,
The touch so icy cold,

Its look was sharp and eager,
Its arm was strong and bold.
It said, while o'er him gleaming,
"Escape me if you can;
Your poverty is coming
Strong as an armed man."
Then franticly he gathered
His wasted power to do,
But found it sear'd and wither'd,
Like grass withoutthe dew.
Then with an iron fetter
His poverty came on;
He thought to-morrow better,
And now to-day was gone.
An old man, poor and dying.
At last this Ira lay;
And said, with bitter sighing,
O had I used to-day.
" But now my life is ending,
And gathering shades of night
Foretell a state unending,
Where I behold no light."
He boasted of the morrow,
But shared a mournful fate;
In death he cried with sorrow,
"Too late, my friends, too late !"


Thousands have run this foolish race,
Some reckon'd wise and great-
But this has been their dreadful case,
Too late for heaven-too late!

No oil against their coming night,
And yet they idly wa:t
No earnest thought, no deed of might-
And soon 'twill be too late.

To-morrow, as the present hour,
They boast with joy elate,
Then idly roam from flower to flower.--
The morrow comes too late.

Sad changes gather as we pass
From childhood's golden gate--
We cast, as worthless, on the grass
The gems we seek too late.

What are the gems we prize the most?
What seals our after fate ?
Time, time, you say, our hope and boast,-
But this may be too late.


The present then, the present time,-
Our future is a bait;
It snares the feet of youthful prime,
And bids them run too late.

0 then reflect, with prudent care,
Upon your present state-
For future time prepare, prepare,
Or you will be too late.

When idlers lure you to delay,
Or sing--" Procrastinate,"
The "still small voice" of God obey,
Nor dare to be too late.

For those who seek with earnest strife,
Shall pass the heavenly gate-
A crown for those, a crown, a life,
Who come not there too late.

I've shown to you, my little friends,
A week of Benny's life,
So richly fraught with useful ends,
With earnest labor rife.



We think that good beginnings make
A happy end more sure;
The fairest way that we can take,
Such endings to secure.
Now Benny chose this surest way,
Of which we justly boast;
And childhood, youth, and manhood's day
Still found him at his post.
But Benny chose, with thoughtful care,
The richest jewel first;
And wisely hid his treasure where
There comes no moth and rust.
And though the Lord had given him
On earth a hundred-fold,
Houses and lands, and friends and kin,
With silver and with gold;
Yet these he never counted worth
Long years of earnest strife,-
For what are treasures of the earth
0 Compared to endless life?
At last good Benny's race was run:
He saw his crown and lyre;
And heard the Master say, "Well done!
Good servant, come up higher."



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