Poems That Every Child Should Know/The Noble Nature

The Noble Nature.

"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.

Ben Jonson.