Works in the Herald 1938

The first week in May marks a movement for the consideration of the problems of youth. Youths who left school a decade ago, and those now leaving, had, and have, reasonable chances of securing jobs. But many who left in the bad years of depression missed the normal chance to learn a trade and secure employment.

Young Benjamin left school this year
      And stepped right in a job;
And he starts in hope of a life career,
   Like his eldest brother, Bob.
But Sam, the lad who came between,
Born in the fateful year 'thirteen,
   Still vainly seeks a place;
And the mark of his fate, too plainly seen,
   Dawns in his listless face.

For Sam was born in a black year,
      In the year of the world's black rage
To rob his youth of childish mirth;
And another curse was on the earth
   In the year he came of age.
War and depression, this grim twain,
Have clouded life for a bright young brain.

Life smiles for Benjamin and Bob,
      Each lucky in his age;
But the count of years falls ill to rob
   Same of his heritage:
Too old for a youth's apprenticeship,
Untrained, too young for a man's firm grip,
   Tho' a man in stature grown,
He lives to see his chances slip,
   Thro' no fault of his own.

For Sam was born in a black year,
      In a black year came from school.
But we who know past years of ease
Hold stern responsibilities
   Ere his youthful ardors cool.
Ours is the duty, ours the task
To yield what youth has right to ask.

Herald, 3 May 1938, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06