In The Pansy magazine Isabella used stories, illustrations, and poems to teach young people what it meant to follow Jesus. The following poem was published in an 1893 issue of the magazine, and although it was written for children, it has meaning for adults, too!
I lost a very little word Only the other day; A very naughty little word I had not meant to say.
If only it were really lost, I should not mind a bit; I think I should deserve a prize For really losing it.
For if no one could ever find Again that little word, So that no more from any lips Could it be ever heard,
I'm sure we all of us would say That it was something fine With such completeness to have lost That naughty word of mine.
But then it wasn't really lost When from my lips it flew; My little brother picked it up, And now he says it, too.
Mamma said that the worst would be I could not get it back; But the worst of it now seems to me, I'm always on its track.
If it were only really lost! Oh, then I should be glad! I let it fall so carelessly The day that I got mad.
Lose other things, you never seem To come upon their track; But lose a naughty little word, It's always coming back.
While no author name was given when the poem was published, Isabella’s husband Ross and son Raymond were both talented poets, as was Isabella.
When she wrote stories about children losing their tempers, she wrote from experience. Isabella shared stories from her own life about how often her anger got her into trouble when she was young.
You can read about some of those instances in these previous posts: