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 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.