If you are tempted to reveal A tale to you someone has told About another, make it pass, Before you speak, three gates of gold. These narrow gates: First, “Is it true?” Then, “Is it needful?” In your mind Give truthful answer. And the next Is last and narrowest, “Is it kind?” And if to reach your lips at last It passes through these gateways three, Then you may tell the tale, nor fear What the result of speech may be.
I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile All sense of nearness, human and divine; The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart, The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine; But while I swayed, weak, trembling, and alone, The everlasting arms upheld my own.
I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds, The moon was darkened by a misty doubt, The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears, And all my little candle flames burned out; But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night, The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.
I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease, A slumber drugged from pain, a hushed repose; Above my head the skies were black with storm, And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes; But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew, I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew.
I thank Thee, Lord, Thou wert too wise to heed My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought, Since these rich gifts Thy bounty has bestowed Have brought me more than all I asked or thought; Giver of good, so answer each request With Thine own giving, better than my best.
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock, And you hear the kyouck and the gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock, And the clackin’ of the guineys and the cluckin’ of the hens And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence; O it’s then the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best, With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest, As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock
They’s somethin kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here – Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees; But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze Of a crisp and sunny monring of the airly autumn days Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock – When the frost is on the punkin and fodder’s in the shock.
The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn, And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn; The stubble in the furries – kindo’ lonesome-like, but still A preachin’ sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill; The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed; The hosses in theyr stalls below – the clover overhead! – O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock, When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!
Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps; And your cider-makin’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage, too! I don’t know how to tell it – but if sich a thing could be As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me – I’d want to ‘commodate ’em – all the whole-indurin’ flock – When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!