"Little, by little," all acorn said,
Its it slowly sank in its mossy bed,
"I am improving day by day,
Hidden deep in the earth away."
Little by little each day it grew;
Little, by little it sipped the dew;
Downward it sent out a thread-like root:
Up in the air sprung a tiny shoot.
Day after day, and year after year,
Little by little the leaves appear;
And the slender branches spread far and wide,
Till the mighty oak is the forest's pride.
Far down in the depths of the dark blue sea
All insect train worked ceaselessly;
Grain by grain, they are building well,
Each one alone in its little cell;
Moment by moment, and day by day,
Never stopping; to rest or to play.
Rocks upon rocks they are rearing high,
Till the top looks out on the sunny sky;
The gentle wind and the balmy air
Little by little bring verdure there;
Till the summer sunbeams gayly smile
On the buds and flowers of the coral isle.
"Little by little," said a thoughtful boy,
"Moment by moment I'll well employ,
Learning a little every day,
And not spending all my time in play;
And still this rule in my mind shall dwell
'Whatever I do, I will do it well.'
Little by little I'll learn to know
The treasured wisdom of long ago;
And one of these days perhaps we'll see
That the world will be the better for me."
And do you not think that this simple plan
Made him a wise and useful man?