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- AS a quiet little seedling
- Lay within its darksome bed,
- To itself it fell a-talking,
- And this is what it said:
- "I am not so very robust,
- But I'll do the best I can;"
- And the seedling from that moment
- Its work of life began.
- So it pushed a little leaflet
- Up into the light of day,
- To examine the surroundings
- And show the rest the way.
- The leaflet liked the prospect,
- So it called its brother, Stem;
- Then two other leaflets heard it,
- And quickly followed them.
- To be sure, the haste and hurry
- Made the seedling sweat and pant;
- But almost before it knew it
- It found itself a plant.
- The sunshine poured upon it,
- And the clouds they gave a shower;
- And the little plant kept growing
- Till it found itself a flower.
- Little folks, be like the seedling,
- Always do the best you can;
- Every child must share life's labor
- Just as well as every man.
- And the sun and showers will help you
- Through the lonesome, struggling hours,
- Till you raise to light and beauty
- Virtue's fair, unfading flowers.
- Paul Laurence Dunbar
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