Poetry of Kansas

Stop And Think.

Just stop and think before you utter
    That which you can ne'er recall,
Consider well your words and mutter
    All of them before they fall.
If you, my friends, would only ponder,
    Fleeting thoughts not yet expressed,
Instead of hearts all rent asunder__
    Peace you'd see, and joy, and rest.
All thoughts expressed exist forever,
    And to you they may revert;
O may you then speak never, never,
    Hasty words that wound and hurt.
O speak kind words to all God's creatures,
    Leaving harsh words all unsaid,
They'll cherish you, recall your features
    Long years after you are dead.
All noble names in future ages
    High are placed in honor's crown:
Among the patriots and sages
    You may write your own names down.
Remember well what I have spoken,
    Take advice from what I've said;
And strive to heal all hearts sore, broken,
    They will bless you when you're dead.

Do this, your name will be eternal,
    Far above with Christ to live,
Almighty God His light diurnal,
    Brilliant rays will ever give.

__Benjamin J. Gunn, Coalville.

Poets and Poetry of Kansas
Edited by Thomas W. Herringshaw
(Chicago: American Publishers' Association. 1894)
Pages 35-36

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August 13, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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