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Poems about Youth

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100 Years From Now


One hundred years from now

It will not matter

What kind of car I drove,

What kind of house I lived in,

How much I had in my bank

Nor what my clothes looked like.

One hundred years from now

It will not matter

What kind of school I attended,

What kind of typewriter I used,

How large or small my church,

But the world may be ...

a little better because...

I was important in the life of a youth.


Source: Forest Witcraft, "Within My Power", Scouting, October 1950, p. 2




Heres another one that I have used in Woodbadge Cermonies


The Bridge Builder

by Will Allen Dromgoole (1860-1934)


An old man, going a lone highway,


Came at the evening cold and gray,


To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,


Through which was flowing a sullen tide.


The old man crossed in the twilight dim-


That sullen stream had no fears for him;


But he turned, when he reached the other side,


And built a bridge to span the tide.




"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,


"You are wasting strength in building here.


Your journey will end with the ending day;


You never again must pass this way.


You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,


Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"




The builder lifted his old gray head.


"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,


"There followeth after me today


A youth whose feet must pass this way.


This chasm that has been naught to me


To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.


He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;


Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."


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What you posted is one of several re-written adaptations of the final sentence of an essay written by Dr. Forest E. Witcraft titled "Within My Power". It's a great essay. Have you ever read it?

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Late at night around the embers of the dying fire

Reflections on joys and frustration in effort to inspire

Thoughts and faces of today and days now past

May what we do today point a bearing that will last

Like those who on their way have planted a tree

The result of this good turn you may never see

What of those you guided though the dust, rain and hail

No obvious reward is yours except the life you grew along the trail



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"If-" by Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;


If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

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I really liked the poem called "The Bridge Builder"

It is one that I can read by myself without any problems, but when I tried to read it at a Court of Honor recently, I got all choked up. (as did a few of the other Scouters in the room).


Thanks for sharing.



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Wanted Man to Lead


There isnt a boy but wants to grow

Manly and true at heart

And every lad would like to know

The secret we impart

He doesnt desire to slack or shirk

Oh, havent you heard him plead?

Hell follow a man at play or work,

If only the man will lead.


Where are the men to lend a hand;

Echo it far and wide,

Men who will rise in every land,

Bridging the Great Divide,

Nation and flag and tongue unite

Joining each class and creed,

Here are the boys who would do right

But where are the men to lead?


- unknown

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Little Eyes Upon You

By: Author Unknown


There are little eyes upon you

and they're watching night and day.


There are little ears that quickly

take in every word you say.


There are little hands all eager

to do anything you do;


And a little boy who's dreaming

of the day he'll be like you.


You're the little fellow's idol,

you're the wisest of the wise.


In his little mind about you

no suspicions ever rise.


He believes in you devoutly,

holds all you say and do;


He will say and do, in your way

when he's grown up just like you.


There's a wide-eyed little fellow

who believes you're always right;

and his eyes are always opened,

and he watches day and night.


You are setting an example

every day in all you do;


For the little boy who's waiting

to grow up to be like you.


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Nobody knows what a boy is worth,

A boy at his work or play,

A boy who whistles about the place,

Or laughs in an artless way.


Nobody knows what a boy is worth,

And the world must wait to see,

For every man in an honored place,

Is a boy that used to be.


Nobody knows what a boy is worth,

A boy with a face aglow,

For hid in his heart there are secrets deep,

Not even the wisest know.


Nobody knows what a boy is worth,

A boy with his bare, white feet;

So have a smile and a kindly word

For every boy you meet.


- Margery Isabel

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This is one that fits particularly well with a handicapped youth that makes Eagle or similar accomplishment


Good Timber


The tree that never had to fight

For sun and sky and air and light,

That stood out in the open plain

And always got its share of rain,

Never became a forest king,

But lived and died a scrubby thing.


The man who never had to toil

Who Never was pitted against a Foil

Who never had to win his share

Of sun and sky and light and air,

Never became a manly man,

But lived and died as he began.


Good timber does not grow in ease.

The stronger the wind, the tougher the trees,

The farther the sky, the greater the length,

The more the storm, the more the strength,

By sun and cold, by rain and snows,

In tree or man, good timber grows.


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