The Idle Son

Young Benjamin left school this year
And stepped right in a job;
And he starts in hope of a life career,
Like his eldest brother, Bob.
But Sam, the lad who came between,
Born in the fateful year 'thirteen,
Still vainly seeks a place;
And the mark of his fate, too plainly seen,
Dawns in his listless face.

For Sam was born in a black year,
In the year of the world's black rage
To rob his youth of childish mirth;
And another curse was on the earth
In the year he came of age.
War and depression, this grim twain,
Have clouded life for a bright young brain.

Life smiles for Benjamin and Bob,
Each lucky in his age;
But the count of years falls ill to rob
Same of his heritage:
Too old for a youth's apprenticeship,
Untrained, too young for a man's firm grip,
Tho' a man in stature grown,
He lives to see his chances slip,
Thro' no fault of his own.

For Sam was born in a black year,
In a black year came from school.
But we who know past years of ease
Hold stern responsibilities
Ere his youthful ardours cool.
Ours is the duty, ours the task
To yield what youth has right to ask.

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"The Idle Son" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 12 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6677/the-idle-son>.

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