by William Ellery Leonard
Because I've learned, by ball and chain and goad,
Custom is king upon this sorry isle,
And builds through town, wood, meadow every road,
Takes toll at every stile,
And names all feasts and days, my child, I'd spare
Your groping feet late shipwrecked on our coast,
Dear delicate feet, yet wounded, worn, and bare ...
As one who loves you most.
Chafe not at my strict rede; and keep your life
Within as bold as when you put to sea:
Till, strong and wise to flash the rebel knife,
You do my work for me.
Last updated May 20, 2019