Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern American Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern American Poetry.  1919.
 
Louis Untermeyer. 1885–
 
109. On the Birth of a Child
 
LO, to the battle-ground of Life, 
  Child, you have come, like a conquering shout, 
Out of a struggle—into strife; 
  Out of a darkness—into doubt. 
  
Girt with the fragile armor of youth,         5
  Child, you must ride into endless wars, 
With the sword of protest, the buckler of truth, 
  And a banner of love to sweep the stars. 
  
About you the world's despair will surge; 
  Into defeat you must plunge and grope.  10
Be to the faltering an urge; 
  Be to the hopeless years a hope! 
  
Be to the darkened world a flame; 
  Be to its unconcern a blow— 
For out of its pain and tumult you came,  15
  And into its tumult and pain you go. 
 
 
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