Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney

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Think gently of the erring:
Ye know not of the power
With which the dark temptation came
In some unguarded hour.
Deal gently with the erring one,
As God hath dealt with thee.

Julia Abigail Fletcher Carney (6 April 18231 November 1908), born Julia Fletcher, was an American Universalist educator and poet, whose works began to be published when she was 14, and who later wrote under various pseudonyms.

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Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land...
So the little minutes, humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages of eternity.
How near another's heart we oft may stand,
Yet all unknowing what we fain would know
Its heights of joy, its depths of bitter woe...
  • Speak gently to the erring:
    For is it not enough
    That innocence and peace have gone,
    Without thy censure rough?
    • "The Erring" (1844).
  • Speak kindly to the erring;
    Thou yet may'st lead them back,
    With holy words and tones of love,
    From misery's thorny track.
    Forget not thou hast often sinned.
    And sinful yet must be;
    Deal gently with the erring one,
    As God hath dealt with thee.
    • "The Erring" (1844).
  • Little drops of water,
    Little grains of sand,
    Make the mighty ocean
    And the pleasant land.

    Thus the little minutes,
    Humble though they be,
    Make the mighty ages
    Of eternity.

    • "Little Things" in the Myrtle (1845). This poem came to be published uncredited as a children's rhyme and hymn in many 19th century magazines and books, sometimes becoming variously attributed to Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, Daniel Clement Colesworthy, and Frances S. Osgood, but the earliest publications of it clearly are those of Carney, according to Our Woman Workers: Biographical Sketches of Women Eminent in the Universalist Church for Literary, Philanthropic and Christian Work (1881) by E. R. Hanson, as well as Familiar Quotations 9th edition (1906) edited by John Bartlett, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999) by Elizabeth Knowles and Angela Partington, and The Yale Book of Quotations (2006), ed. Fred R. Shapiro
  • Little deeds of kindness,
    Little words of love,
    Make our pleasant earth below
    Like the heaven above.
    • "Little Things" (1845) as quoted in Our Woman Workers: Biographical Sketches of Women Eminent in the Universalist Church for Literary, Philanthropic and Christian Work (1881) by E. R. Hanson. These were the final words of the poem in the original publication, but later versions published anonymously by other authors appended various additions to this. It has also often appeared credited to Carney in a variant form:
Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love,
Help to make earth happy
Like the heaven above.
  • How near another's heart we oft may stand,
    Yet all unknowing what we fain would know
    Its heights of joy, its depths of bitter woe
    ,
    As, wrecked upon some desert island's strand,
    They watch our white sails near and nearer grow;
    Then we, who for their rescue death would dare,
    Unheeding pass, and leave them to despair.
    • "Soul Blindness", as quoted Our Woman Workers: Biographical Sketches of Women Eminent in the Universalist Church for Literary, Philanthropic and Christian Work (1881) by E. R. Hanson
  • How oft the word which we would gladly speak
    Might be, unto some darkly groping soul,
    The key to bid doubt's massive doors unroll,
    The free winds' breath upon the prisoner's cheek,
    Or. to the hungry heart, sweet pity's dole!
    We hurry on, nor know that they are near,
    As passed Evangeline the one so dear.
    • "Soul Blindness", as quoted Our Woman Workers: Biographical Sketches of Women Eminent in the Universalist Church for Literary, Philanthropic and Christian Work (1881) by E. R. Hanson

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