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116. PROCRASTINATION.

Procrastination is the thief of time.

-YOUNG.

Do not delay the work of to-day to the morrow.

-ARABIC PROVERB.

Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise ;
He who defers his work from day to day,
Does on a river's bank expecting stay,
Till the whole stream which stopp'd him should be

gone, Which runs, and, as it runs, for ever will run on.

-COWLEY.

Never defer that until to-morrow which you can do to-day.

-ITALIAN PROVERB.

One half the evils in our way

Are the result of waiting
For sometime better than to-day

To do our work, debating
On future time that we can steal

From future duties, choosing
To take the ease the present brings-

Thus precious moments losing.
But future time will soon be "now"

And then how great the sorrow,

To find the work of yesterday

Has come with its to-morrow !

It is never too late to mend, to mend,

In thought, in word, and deed ; Never too late to lend a hand

In a brother's sorest need ;
Never too late to laugh with those

Who happy secrets keep,
Or to shed the tear of sympathy-

To weep with those who weep.

If you have a work to do,

Wait not till to-morrow. Putting oft from day to day

Brings but care and sorrow. Let no short but precious hour

Pass you by unheeded, But while time is given you

Do the work that's needed.

When you have the golden chance,

Help some needy brother ; For each blessing you bestow

God will give you another.
Freely give of every good

God to you has given ;
And upon you He will shower

Choicer gifts from Heaven.

Whatsoe'er you find to do

For yourself or neighbour, Do it now, no other time

Is given you for labour.

And when toils and cares are over,

And earth's ties you sever,
You shall hear the welcome words:

“ Come and rest for ever.”

WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO-DAY ?

We shall do so much in the years to come,

But what have we done to-day ?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,

But what did we give to-day ?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer,

But what did we speak to-day?

We shall be so kind in the after-while,

But what have we been to-day ?
We shall bring to each lonely life a smile,

But what have we brought to-day ?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,

But whom have we fed to-day ?

We shall reap such joys in the by-and-by,

But what have we sown to-day?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,

But what have we built to-day?
'Tis sweet in idle dream to bask,
But here and now do we do our task ?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
What have we done to-day?

-NIXON WATERMAN. 117. PROMISE.

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Speak as you mean, do as you profess, and perform what you promise.

Let your promises be sincere, and within the compass of your ability.

Be slow to promise, and quick to perform.

Promise little, and do much,

We promise according to our hopes, we perform according to our fears.

What should you keep after you have given it to another? Ans. Word.

He, who often swears, distrusts his own word.

A promise should be given with caution, and kept with care.

It should be made by the heart; and remembered by the head.

A hero's valour does not diminish at all,
Though he is roughly handled on the field of battle ;
So a truthful word once spoken is not withdrawn,
Even if the Universe were to be overturned.

-KABÎR.

Shaivya, a king whom earth obeyed,
Once to a hawk a promise mado,
Gave to the bird his flesh and bone,
And by his truth made heaven his own.

–“RA MÂYANA.”*

KING SHAIVYA AND THE SUPPLIANT DOVE.

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(The following is a free version of a very ancient story which occurs more than once in the Mahâbhârata, and is referred to in the Râmâyana.)

Chased by a hawk there came a dove

With worn and weary wing,
And took her stand upon the hand

Of Kâshi’s mighty King (Shaivya).
The monarch smoothed her ruffled plumes,

And laid her on his breast,
And cried, 'No fear shall vex thee here,

Rest, pretty eggborn, rest!
Fair Kashi's realm is rich and wide,

With golden harvests gay,
But all that 's mine will I resign

Ere I my guest betray.'
But panting for his half-won spoil,

The hawk was close behind,
And with wild cry and eager eye

Came swooping down the wind :
• This bird,' he cried, ‘my destined prize,

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'Tis not for thee to shield : 'Tis mine by right and toilsome flight

O'er hill and dale and field.

Translated by Griffith.

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