An Old Saw

"If you'll break the first brake

And will kill the first snake,

You'll be sure to go through

With what you undertake."

Thus our Grandma, quaint but queenly,

Taught us grand-bairns one by one;

And the lesson relished keenly

Filled each spring-time full of fun.

For the watchful eyes were eager,

And the flying feet must roam

Till they every nook beleaguer

Round the old ancestral home.

* * * * *

But 'twas not the broken brakelet

That wrought good for after years;

Not the killing of the snakelet,

But the conquering of fears,

And the patient, wistful watching,

Educating thought and eye,

Made the brakelet and the snakelet

Types of weal for bye and bye.