Life, like a romping schoolboy, full of glee,
Doth bear us on his shoulder for a time.
There is no path too steep for him to climb.
With strong, lithe limbs, as agile and as free,
As some young roe, he speeds by vale and sea,
By flowery mead, by mountain peak sublime,
And all the world seems motion set to rhyme,
Till, tired out, he cries, "Now carry me!"
In vain we murmur; "Come," Life says, "Fair play!"
And seizes on us. God! he goads us so!
He does not let us sit down all the day.
At each new step we feel the burden grow,
Till our bent backs seem breaking as we go,
Watching for Death to meet us on the way.
- by Ella Wheeler Wilcox