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The Seedling

Paul Laurence Dunbar

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.


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