Poetry of Kansas

Don't You Do It.

Do not think that in life's battle,
With its ceaseless din and rattle,
You can conquer vast dominions
Soaring as on eagle's pinions,
On your hands no taint of moil,
From earth's honest ways of toil
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
Pegasus mount if you must;
Better not the old horse trust.
 
Don't go upward like a rocket
With no ballast in your pocket
But a gold and silver lining;
Brief wi]] be your brilliant shining;
Like a stick to earth descending,
    Buried in the dust your ending.
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
    If your light burns not so fast,
    'Twill burn brighter at the last.
 
    If you ever think of trying
    To achieve success by lying,
    You will find you are mistaken,
    When of honest men forsaken,
    And will wiser grow and humbler,
    When you're turned down like a tumbler.
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
    Better shun all forms of evil,
    Tell the truth and shame the devil.
 
If you'd climb the hill of science,
You must have first self-reliance;
Do not make strides like a giant,
Tho your limbs are strong and pliant.
And do not commit the folly
Of ascending on a trolley.
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
    Up a hill you cannot run;
Step by step the summit's won.
 
If for fame you are aspiring,
With a strong, unquenched desiring,
'Tis an iridescent bubble,
Bringing only toil and trouble,
And will compensate your thirsting
In the end by simply___bursting.
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
Fame is but the meteor's flare,
Lighting up the midnight air.
 
Have you loyal friends, and loving,
Often their affection proving,
By their many acts of kindness,
Showing to your follies blindness,
Let your love then never alter,
Nor in your devotion falter.
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
In a world so dark and cold,
There are no friends like the old.
 
Do not trust too much in riches;
She's a goddess that bewitches;
With you now and gone tomorrow,
Leaving you chagrin and sorrow;
Hearts, when robbed of earthly treasure,
Only sing in minor measure.
    If you do it,
    You will rue it.
Better place your wealth above,
And grow rich in lore and love.
__J. M. Cavaness.

Jayhawker Juleps
J. M. Cavaness
(Chanute: Tribune Pub. Co. 1913)
Pages 51-52

 
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March 20, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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