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.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.