Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England


How's the little chap to know
Just the proper roads to go
If you never travel with him
While he's little, hand in hand?
How's he ever going to learn
Just what corners not to turn
If you never try to tell him
So that he can understand ?

Who, think you, will train him rightly,
Who will watch him daily, nightly,
Who will take the time to show him
Just the things he ought to do?
Will some stranger or a neighbor
Take upon himself the labor
Which the Lord above intended
As a duty, just for you?

Is it safe to trust another,
Even though he be your brother.
To the molding of his future?
Can you watch him come and go,
Can you go on money-making,
Without thought or trouble taking
To discover if he's learning
Just the things you'd have him know?

There's no fortune worth his splendor
Or his youthful days and tender.
There's no goal so bright with glory
Which is worth his happiness;
He's your hope of joy tomorrow,
As you'll find out to your sorrow
If you let him wander from you
While you seek your own success.

Let the fame and money go,
Teach him what he ought to know,
You will find a greater glory
Than the selfish seeker can;
Shape his mind and soul to beauty,
God has given you this duty
And your age shall glow with gladness
When your boy becomes a man.
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