If I were a man, a young man

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If I were a man, a young man, and knew what I know to-day,
I would look in the eyes of Life undaunted
   By any Fate that might threaten me.
I would give to the world what the world most wanted -
   Manhood that knows it can do and be;
   Courage that dares, and faith that can see
   Clear into the depths of the human soul,
   And find God there, and the ultimate goal,
If I were a man, a young man, and knew what I know to-day.

If I were a man, a young man, and knew what I know to-day,
   I would think of myself as the masterful creature
      Of all the Masterful plan;
   The Formless Cause, with form and feature;
      The Power that heeds not limit or ban;
      Man, wonderful man.
I would do good deeds, and forget them straightway;
      I would weave my woes into ropes and climb
Up to the heights of the helper’s gateway;
      And Life should serve me, and Time,
      And I would sail out, and out, and find
      The treasures that lie in the deep sea, Mind.
      I would dream, and think, and act;
I would work, and love, and pray,
      Till each dream and vision grew into a fact,
If I were a man, a young man, and knew what I know to-day.

If I were a man, a young man, and knew what I know to-day,
   I would guard my passions as Kings guard treasures,
      And keep them high and clean.
   (For the will of a man, with his passions, measures;
      It is strong as they are keen.)
   I would think of each woman as some one’s mother;
   I would think of each man as my own blood brother,
And speed him along on his way.
   And the glory of life in this wonderful hour
   Should fill me and thrill me with Conscious power,
If I were a man, a young man, and knew what I know to-day.

 

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