From The Sun, February 8, 1914. By McLandburgh Wilson.
Four little flames, each burning clear,
Set out to choose a life career.
One said: “Within a church I’ll burn
And thought of men to heaven turn.”
One said: “I’ll in a lighthouse bide
And ships upon the ocean guide.”
One said: “A scholar’s lamp I’ll be
And knowledge shall be spread by me.”
One said: “Upon a hearth I’ll glow
Where only two or three may know.”
Time snuffed the altar candle out,
But other faiths still conquered doubt.
The beacon into darkness fell
But ships had compass, horn and bell.
The scholar’s light went out, but then
He still could learn from life and men.
But when the hearthflame ash was cold
All earth no substitute could hold.