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HOW SHALL I TRAIN MY SONS?
LIGHTLY to love and believe in little
And they mustn't be dull or slow);
To be shallow and vain and sneer at truth,
To never do anything bold or rash,
And whatever they mind to make sure of the cash,
To mope and frown and be severe,
So that no one will love them, though some may
To launch the shaft of satire keen,
And be clever at reading the lines between !
To tarnish their souls for paltry wit,
To follow one whom they admire,
And still as he leads them to still aspire,
Till they know all he'd have them know;
Mirrors of others, not lights themselves,
Their ideas bound neatly in calf on the shelves?
Shall I train them to love command,
To strive to be known all over the land,
To proclaim with a crow like a cock at morn
Shall I bid them just leave well alone,
With folded hands to sit idly down
Till the struggle is o'er, and their life is flown?
To love only once, and that for ever,
And supposing that love brings them happiness never,
For a passion grand-love pure and true-
To cherish all impulses towards the right,
To scatter sunshine and forgive,
For the fulness of life is for others to live,
If buoyant wit adorns their mind,
And delight in a brilliant repartee they find,
For loyalty to one's own friend
Is both best wit and wisdom in the end,
With no wish to rule, I'd have them do it,
For they will be heard if they have a word
To think all things out, and set them down,
To imitate no one, yet many admire,
For a beggar a king with a thought may inspire,
I will train them then to not sit still,
But to shape their own course with a steadfast will,
Those who trust in God, and then endeavour
And I will train them so.
(in Aberdeen Herald and Weekly Free Press).
END OF BOOK VI.
AND TAYLOR, PRINTERS.