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 . 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,
    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 --
    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,
    And into its tumult and pain you go.

    Louis Untermeyer

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