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Three Little Pennies

Doug Stone

There was an old, blind man
Who stood on the corner down town
he was holding a cup
Filled up with nothing
From the christmas shopping crowd
And though I barely came up to the top of his cane
I reached up and gave him
Every cent to my name.
Three little pennies.
Were all that I had
One that I'd found
Two from my dad
Three little pennies not much of a gift
But Dad said "that's plenty, if it's all you can give."
that evening my dad told a wonderful story to me
About a child and the manger.
The wise men who came bearing gifts on the first christmas eve.
There was a part I'm sure he made up
About a stable boy who couldn't give much..
Three little pennies.
Were all that he had
One that he'd found
Two from his dad
Three little pennies not much of a gift
But Dad said "that's plenty if it's all you can give."
next morning was christmas
And I had prayed hard for a bike
But all that I found was the tiniest box
With three shiny pennies inside
and I was so disapointed because I had been good
But times had been bad so I understood.
And daddy said:
"three little pennies.
Were all that you had
But you gave them freely
So I gave them back
Three little pennies not much of a gift
You're bike is outside because you've learned how to give"

God Bless Us Every One

by James Whitcomb Riley

"God bless us every one!" prayed Tiny Tim,
    Crippled, and dwarfed of body, yet so tall
Of soul, we tiptoe earth to look on him,
    High towering over all.

He loved the loveless world, nor dreamed, indeed,
    That it, at best, could give to him, the while,
But pitying glances, when his only need
    Was but a cheery smile.

And thus he prayed, "God bless us every one!"
    Enfolding all the creeds within the span
Of his child-heart; and so, despising none,
    Was nearer saint than man.

I like to fancy God, in Paradise,
    Lifting a finger o'er the rhythmic swing
Of chiming harp and song, with eager eyes
    Turned earthward, listening—

The Anthem stilled—the angels leaning there
    Above the golden walls—the morning sun
Of Christmas bursting flower-like with the prayer,
    "God bless us Every One!"

The Christmas Gift

by Robert A. Hall

There is a gift that comes
From those out on the lines,
It is not wrapped in bows,
But, oh, how bright it shines.
There is a Christmas gift,
A pearl beyond all price,
From those who ask for naught,
But make the sacrifice.
They risk their blood and bone
On endless weary tours,
For that is all that keeps
The evil from our shores.
You worship as you will,
You freely have your say,
And all that is a gift
From sentries far away.
There is a gift that comes
From troops who guard the line,
That lets us live in peace
And joy at Christmastime.
We say “Support the troops,”
But hardly pause to think
What honor really means,
Or how near looms the brink.
There is a Christmas gift
From those who hold the line,
And you and I, my friend,
Get nothing more sublime.

Beautiful Snow

by John Whitaker Watson

O the snow, the beautiful snow,
Filling the sky and the earth below!
Over the house-tops, over the street,
Over the heads of the people you meet,
Dancing, Flirting, Skimming along. Beautiful snow! it can do nothing wrong.
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek;
Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak;
Beautiful snow, from the heavens above,
Pure as an angel and fickle as love!

O the snow, the beautiful snow!
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go!
Whirling about in its maddening fun,
It plays in its glee with every one.
Chasing, Laughing, Hurrying by, It lights up the face and it sparkles the eye;
And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound,
Snap at the crystals that eddy around.
The town is alive, and its heart in a glow,
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow.

How the wild crowd go swaying along,
Hailing each other with humor and song!
How the gay sledges like meteors flash by,—
Bright for the moment, then lost to the eye!
Ringing, Swinging, Dashing they go Over the crest of the beautiful snow:
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky,
To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by;
To be trampled and tracked by the thousands of feet
Till it blends with the horrible filth in the street.

Once I was pure as the snows,—but I fell:
Fell, like the snow-flakes, from heaven—to hell:
Fell, to be tramped as the filth of the street:
Fell, to be scoffed, to be spit on, and beat.
Pleading, Cursing, Dreading to die, Selling my soul to whoever would buy,
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living and fearing the dead.
Merciful God! have I fallen so low?
And yet I was once like this beautiful snow!

Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,
With an eye like its crystals, a heart like its glow;
Once I was loved for my innocent grace,—
Flattered and sought for the charm of my face.
Father, Mother, Sisters all, God, and myself, I have lost by my fall.
The veriest wretch that goes shivering by
Will take a wide sweep, lest I wander too nigh;
For all that is on or about me, I know
There is nothing that's pure but the beautiful snow.

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it would be, when the night comes again,
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain!
Fainting, Freezing, Dying alone, Too wicked for prayer, too weak for my moan
To be heard in the crash of the crazy town,
Gone mad in its joy at the snow's coming down;
To lie and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow!

The Lost Thrill
poem by James Whitcomb Riley

I grow so weary, someway, of all things
That love and loving have vouchsafed to me,
Since now all dreamed-of sweets of ecstasy
Am I possessed of: The caress that clings—
The lips that mix with mine with murmurings
No language may interpret, and the free,
Unfettered brood of kisses, hungrily
Feasting in swarms on honeyed blossomings
Of passion's fullest flower—For yet I miss
The essence that alone makes love divine—
The subtle flavoring no tang of this
Weak wine of melody may here define:—
A something found and lost in the first kiss
A lover ever poured through lips of mine.

Back From A Two-years' Sentence
poem by James Whitcomb Riley

Back from a two-years' sentence!
And though it had been ten,
You think, I were scarred no deeper
In the eyes of my fellow-men.
"My fellow-men--?" Sounds like a satire,
You think-- and I so allow,
Here in my home since childhood,
Yet more than a stranger now!

Pardon--! Not wholly a stranger--,
For I have a wife and child:
That woman has wept for two long years,
And yet last night she smiled--!
Smiled, as I leapt from the platform
Of the midnight train, and then--
All that I knew was that smile of hers,
And our babe in my arms again!

Back from a two-years' sentence--
But I've thought the whole thing through--,
A hint of it came when the bars swung back
And I looked straight up in the blue
Of the blessed skies with my hat off!
O-ho! I've a wife and child:
That woman has wept for two long years,
And yet last night she smiled!



Denzel Washington...
Deeply Moving Speech

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