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from Stories To Tell Children





The little Louisa I told you about, who wrote verses and stories in her
diary, used to like to play that she was a princess, and that her
kingdom was her own mind. When she had unkind or dissatisfied thoughts,
she tried to get rid of them by playing they were enemies of the
kingdom; and she drove them out with soldiers; the soldiers were
patience, duty, and love. It used to help Louisa to be good to play
this, and I think it may have helped make her the splendid woman she was
afterward. Maybe you would like to hear a poem she wrote about it, when
she was only fourteen years old.[20] It will help you, too, to think the
same thoughts.

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell,
And very hard I find the task
Of governing it well;
For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And selfishness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

How can I learn to rule myself,
To be the child I should,
Honest and brave, nor ever tire
Of trying to be good?
How can I keep a sunny soul
To shine along life's way?
How can I tune my little heart
To sweetly sing all day?

Dear Father, help me with the love
That casteth out my fear,
Teach me to lean on Thee, and feel
That Thou art very near,
That no temptation is unseen,
No childish grief too small,
Since Thou, with patience infinite,
Doth soothe and comfort all.

I do not ask for any crown
But that which all may win,
Nor seek to conquer any world,
Except the one within.
Be Thou my Guide until I find,
Led by a tender hand,
Thy happy kingdom in _myself_,
And dare to take command.





Next: PICCOLA

Previous: A TRUE STORY ABOUT A GIRL



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