Go back to My Kingdom

Sara Cone Bryant (1873 - Unknown)
My Kingdom

The little Louisa I told you about, who
wrote verses and stories in her diary, used
to like to play that she was a princess, and
that her kingdom was her own mind.
When she had unkind or dissatisfied
thoughts, she tried to get rid of them by
playing they were enemies of the kingdom;
and she drove them out with soldiers;
the soldiers were patience, duty, and love.
It used to help Louisa to be good to play
this, and I think it may have helped make
her the splendid woman she was afterward.
Maybe you would like to hear a
poem she wrote about it, when she was
only fourteen years old.[1] It will help you,
too, to think the same thoughts.

[1] From Louisa M. Alcott's Life, Letters, and Journals (Little,
Brown & Co.). Copyright, 1878, by Louisa M. Alcott. Copyright,
1906, by J. S. P. Alcott.

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell,
And very hard I find the task
Of governing it well;
For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And selfishness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

How can I learn to rule myself,
To be the child I should,
Honest and brave, nor ever tire
Of trying to be good?
How can I keep a sunny soul
To shine along life's way?
How can I tune my little heart
To sweetly sing all day?

Dear Father, help me with the love
That casteth out my fear,
Teach me to lean on thee, and feel
That thou art very near,

That no temptation is unseen,
No childish grief too small,
Since thou, with patience infinite,
Doth soothe and comfort all.

I do not ask for any crown
But that which all may win,
Nor seek to conquer any world,
Except the one within.
Be thou my guide until I find,
Led by a tender hand,
Thy happy kingdom in MYSELF,
And dare to take command.

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