by Ruth Smeltzer
To the thorns of life I’m more indebted
Than I am to the roses sweet;
They will not let me lie inactive
While round me there are tasks to meet.
They spur me on to nobler action,
Nor long allow me quiet ease,
But keep on pricking at my conscience–
And often drive me to my knees.
by Patience Strong (1907-1990)
The man looked at the mountain and the mountain at the man.
Scornfully it seemed to say, “Come, climb me if you can.”
The mountain was a giant with his shoulders in the sky,
The man a midget little more than sixty inches high.
But he had something more than height: a mind, a soul, a will,
A dream, a passionate desire, and so with patient skill
He moved with cautious steps upon the rocky, icy slope,
Climbing with a faith unbounded and a mighty hope.
With mist and storm and avalanche the mountain fought that day,
As over chasm, cliff, and gorge the climber made his way,
And reached the summit. Nature’s forces wild and fierce and blind
Were overcome and conquered by a midget with a mind.