Thursday, September 29, 2011

Two cards: "The Play-Hour" and "The Mother's Advice"

Religious texts -- bibles, hymnals, etc. -- are fantastic sources of Tucked Away Inside ephemera. People tucked all sorts of pieces of paper for future generations to discover inside their old bibles.

I came across today's two paper cards, which are about 3 inches wide by 4½ inches tall -- slightly smaller than a standard playing card.

The card shown above is called THE PLAY-HOUR and contains the following text:
The bell has rung; with merry shout
From school the boys are rushing out;
Now books are closed, with what delight
They grasp the marbles, ball, and kite!
Shout on, glad hearts! in boyhood learn
Your pleasure through your toil to earn;
If life were all one idle day,
You would not prize the hour of play.
Improve the golden hours that bring
Such stores of knowledge on the wing;
None have used them well but know
That labour's path is pleasure's too.
Choose heavenly Wisdom as your guide
And Peace will follow at her side;
A purer joy bless manhood's way
That brightened boyhood's hour of play
And here is the second card...

This one is titled THE MOTHER'S ADVICE:
My boy, you have met with a trial to-day,
Which I hoped to have seen you oppose;
But, alas! in a moment your temper gave way,
And the pride of your bosom arose.

I saw the temptation, and trembled for fear
Your good resolutions should fall;
And soon by your eye and your colour, my dear,
I found you had broken them all.

As soon as temptation is put in your way,
And passion is ready to start,
'Tis then you must try to subdue it, and pray
For courage to bid it depart.

But now you must go to the Saviour and seek
His mercy to pardon your sin;
Entreat him to make you submissive and meek,
And put a right spirit within.
Neither of the cards has any sort of date or indication of the company that published them.

I found copies of "The Play-Hour" in two other places -- in an undated book titled "Pictures and Songs for the Little Ones at Home" by the editors of the "Children's Paper"1 and in another book titled "Home Songs for Little Darlings: Children's Songs."

And I found several similar poems to "The Mother's Advice" -- some shorter, some longer. All offered as a verse to help good Christians from yielding to temptation.

These Christian-themed cards also have an interesting design along the left-hand side and the phrase "TEACH ME THY WAY O LORD AND LEAD ME IN A PLAIN PATH."

1. The "Children's Paper" might be the same as "The Children's Newspaper," the history of which is detailed here by Look and Learn.

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