Menella Bute Smedley

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush

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In the hand—fluttering fearfully—
Lonely and helpless,—poor little thing!
In the bush—peeping out cheerfully,
Two together, gaily they sing!
Why is it best to have one in the hand?
Father, tell me,—I don't understand.

“Best it is because you have hold of it;
Child, it is only a figure of speech;
Sunset shines, you look at the gold of it,
Knowing well it is out of your reach;
But the sixpence your godmother gave,
Yours it is, to spend or to save.”
Ah, that sixpence! already I've done with it;
Never a penny with me will stay.
If I could buy but an inch of the sun with it,
I might look at it every day.

Father, the birds shall stay in their nest!
Things that we never can have are best.

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Menella Bute Smedley