Phœbe Cary


Suppose, my little lady,

Your doll should break her head,

Could you make it whole by crying

Till your eyes and nose were red?

And wouldn't it be pleasanter

To treat it as a joke,

And say you're glad 'twas Dolly's,

And not your head, that broke?

Suppose you're dressed for walking,

And the rain comes pouring down;

Will it clear off any sooner

Because you scold and frown?

And wouldn't it be nicer

For you to smile than pout,

And so make sunshine in the house

When there is none without?

Suppose your task, my little man,

Is very hard to get;

Will it make it any easier

For you to sit and fret?

And wouldn't it be wiser

Than waiting like a dunce,

To go to work in earnest

And learn a thing at once?

Suppose that some boys have a horse,

And some a coach and pair;

Will it tire you less while walking

To say, "It isn't fair"?

And wouldn't it be nobler

To keep your temper sweet,

And in your heart be thankful

You can walk upon your feet?

And suppose the world don't please you,

Nor the way some people do;

Do you think the whole creation

Will be altered just for you?

And isn't it, my boy or girl,

The wisest, bravest plan,

Whatever comes or doesn't come

To do the best you can?