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Poems Every Child Should Know by  Mary E. Burt

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"The Noble Nature," by Ben Jonson (1574-1637), needs no plea. A small virtue well polished is better than none.

It is not growing like a tree

In bulk doth make man better be;

Or standing long an oak, three hundred year

To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,

Although it fall and die that night,—

It was the plant and flower of light.

In small proportions we just beauties see;

And in short measures life may perfect be.


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