Just A Nail

By Amos Russel Wells

Once a captain, homeward bound,
In a startled moment found
He was running on to land,
And the shoals were close at hand:
Sudden sight and sudden shout,
And the ship was turned about.

Steering by the compass, he
Thought himself far out at sea;
But the astonished captain learned
That the needle had been turned
By a nail some carpenter
Heedless drove, and left it there.

So with many a gallant ship
On our life-long ocean trip;
Ah, what fatal wreck has been
Where a single tiny sin
With its steady, sure control
Turned the compass of the soul!