Manvotional: Boys Wanted

by Brett & Kate McKay on November 16, 2008 · 14 comments

in A Man's Life, Manvotionals

I found this poem in a book on public speaking from 1900. While it was written for young boys, it’s just as applicable to young men. Hard work, dedication, and resiliency are all qualities we should try to develop in our sons and in ourselves.

Boys Wanted

Boys of spirit, boys of will,
Boys of muscle, brain and power,
Fit to cope with anything,
These are wanted every hour.

Not the weak and whining drones,
Who all troubles magnify;
Not the watchword of “I can’t,”
But the nobler one, “I’ll try.”

Do whate’er you have to do
With a true and earnest zeal;
Bend your sinews to the taswk,
“Put your shoulders to the wheel.”

Though your duty may be hard,
Look not on it as an ill;
If it be an honest task,
Do it with an honest will.

In the workshop, on the farm,
At the desk, where’er you be,
From your future efforts, boys,
Comes a nation’s destiny.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 David November 16, 2008 at 8:40 am

A fine poem with a message always worth remembering.

2 Ivan November 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm

That was a beautiful poem and a timeless message.

3 Rodney Hampton November 16, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Great depression era photo.

4 Charlie November 17, 2008 at 6:53 am

Terrific. May put this up in my sons’ room. Who is the author?

5 JT November 17, 2008 at 7:50 am

Great poem. Was there any indication of who wrote it?

Thanks!

6 Brett November 17, 2008 at 7:53 am

@Charlie @JT – Unfortunately, there was no indication of who the author was.

7 Dale November 27, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I am not sure who the author of this essay is, but it has a similar message which is very manly.

Workmanship
Your true value to society comes when someone says “Let me see your work.”
Your glib tongue may open a door or two and your artful use of the right fork may win an approving nod.
But the real test of your worth can be measured by the care you give to the job in front of you:
A budget to plan;
A solo to play;
A report to draft;
A leaky sink that needs fixing.
Next time you write a memo, make sure you get all the facts straight.
Pay attention to those details.
Sweat the small stuff.

8 Beat Attitude January 21, 2010 at 9:59 am

Do…Or do not. There is no try. Hmmmm?

9 Anonymous January 29, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Boys Wanted

Boys of spirit, boys of will,
Boys of muscle, brain and power,
Fit to cope with anything,
These are wanted every hour.

Not the weak and whining drones,
Who all troubles magnify;
Not the watchword of “I can’t,”
But the nobler one, “I’ll try.”

Do whate’er you have to do
With a true and earnest zeal;
Bend your sinews to the taswk,
“Put your shoulders to the wheel.”

Though your duty may be hard,
Look not on it as an ill;
If it be an honest task,
Do it with an honest will.

In the workshop, on the farm,
At the desk, where’er you be,
From your future efforts, boys,
Comes a nation’s destiny.

Tommy’s first speaker for little boys and girls.
by Thomas W. Handford

10 Obie October 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

I just read this. I think Kipling’s “If” should be read by boys and fathers alike.

11 S C Bodas March 13, 2013 at 11:40 am

In 1977 I learned this poem in my textbook of English language…. standard 8th… It was the only English poem which was taught in the voluntary organisation RSS in India… It recalled my childhood memories and the teacher Y G Godbole who taught it in School and we were overwhelmed by the feeling of dedication towards national duty… I am too, eager to know poet of this poem…In my memory it was given”Anon”…Thanks for posting this

12 Joe Enarhome September 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm

S.P. Jos Enarhome (1906-80) of sweet memory taught this poem in our primary sch ( 1940s) in Lokoja, Nigeria. It stock more to memory as a song..Such evergreen motivational poems should remain in our curriculum.

13 Marc February 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

Great poem. I need to have my fiancee’s son read it. He needs to learn what work is.

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