Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we find a delightful creature called a boy. Boys come in assorted sizes, weights and colours, but all boys have the same creed: to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day.
A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and the Hope of the Future with a frog in its pocket.
A boy is a composite – he has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword swallower, the energy of a pocket-size atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator and the shyness of a violet.
He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dad, trains, Saturday mornings, and fire engines. He is not much for Sunday School, company, schools, books without pictures, music lessons, neckties, barbers, overcoats, adults, or bedtime. Nobody else is so early to rise, or so late to supper. Nobody else gets so much fun out of trees, dogs and breezes.
A boy is a magical creature – you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can’t lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can’t get him out of your mind. He is your captor, your gaoler, your boss and your master. When you come home at night with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with the two magic words - « Hi, Dad! »
« I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain — and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet When far away an interrupted cry Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye; And further still at an unearthly height, One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right. I have been one acquainted with the night. »
Read by Ron Perlman
"Fire and Ice", Robert Frost, 1920
« Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.»
Read by Robert Frost himself
"The Road not taken", Robert Frost, Mountain Interval, 1920
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Read by Robert Frost
William Ernest Henley
« Invictus », William Ernest Henley, 1888
« Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced not cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul. »
« Do not stand at my grave and weep », Mary Elizabeth Frye, 1932
« Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep. I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow. I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain. I am in the morning hush, I am in the graceful rush Of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am the starshine of the night. I am in the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room. I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing. Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there. I do not die. »
Robert Burns, 1787
« My heart’s in the Highlands », Robert Burns, 1789
« My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer, A-chasing the wild deer and following the roe - My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go!
Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,
The birthplace of valour, the country of worth! Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love.
Farewell to the mountains high cover’d with snow, Farewell to the straths and green valleys below, Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods, Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods!
My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer, A-chasing the wild deer and following the roe - My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go! »