12.29.2015

The Young

The city is always built on the young
The old rule, and order its stones
But no brick or mortar is borne by their bones
They look out; and if they still see
They see past the walls to the waiting sea
Rising or falling, in threat or in calm
Its order is just what meets their eye
Good or bad; in praise or in qualm
If truth be what quickly leaps from their tongue
Or if they dwell in a fantasy's lie
The city is always built on the young.

The city is always built on the young
Children on their weary parents' knees
Our labors a call and not a disease
You too were once a baby in time
A child, and is youth such a crime
That it should be made against the law
To do its work, and then at last
If we tired souls had heard at all
There is no old man's war ere sung?
Youth shall be spent before it is past;
The city is always built on the young.

The city is always built on the young
Sing then, with the flame in your breast
And put each your mete and mettle to test
To save your life you must lose it he said
And in years well numbered you will be dead
We are all slaves to uprightness
- this much is true, but to what end?
Sing then, let your music confess,
The horn must be winded, the harp must be strung
Call then the maidens and mighty men
The city is always built on the young.

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