INTO THE WORLD

Out over childhood's borders,
    Manhood's brave banners unfurled,
Weighed down with precepts and orders
    A boy has gone into the world.

Nobody thinks it pathetic--
    For he is a strong-armed youth.
But where is the vision prophetic
    To forecast his future with truth?

No more a child to be petted
    And sheltered away from the strife;
Henceforth--a man to be fretted
    And worn with the worries of life.

Henceforth a man with others
    To scramble and push in the race,
To jostle and crowd with his brothers,
    To struggle for gain and place.

Now though his heart is breaking,
    Henceforth his lids must be dry;
Now though his soul is aching,
    He must not utter a cry.

Now if his brain is troubled,
    Now if his courage has gone,
Still must his strength be doubled,
    Still must the battle go on.

Now if success shall crown him,
    Oh, how the world will cheer.
Now if misfortune shall down him,
    Oh, how the scoffer will jeer.

Virtue and truth attend him,
    Into the vortex whirled,
God and His angels defend him--
    A boy has gone into the world.

The Beautiful Land of Nod by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago: Morrill, Higgins & Co. [1892]


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