Oh, my shoulders grow aweary of the burdens I am bearin’,
An’ I grumble when I’m footsore at the rough road I am farin’,
But I strap my knapsack tighter till I feel the leather bind me,
An’ I’m glad to bear the burdens for the ones who come behind me.
It’s for them that I am ploddin’, for the children comin’ after;
I would strew their path with roses and would fill their days with
Oh, there’s selfishness within me, there are times it gets to talkin’,
Times I hear it whisper to me, ‘It’s a dusty road you’re walkin’;
Why not rest your feet a little; why not pause an’ take your leisure?
Don’t you hunger in your strivin’ for the merry whirl of pleasure?’
Then I turn an’ see them smilin’ an’ I grip my burdens tighter,
For the joy that I am seekin’ is to see their eyes grow brighter.
Oh, I’ve sipped the cup of sorrow an’ I’ve felt the gad of trouble,
An’ I know the hurt of trudgin’ through a field o’errun with stubble;
But a rougher road to travel had my father good before me,
An’ I’m owin’ all my gladness to the tasks he shouldered for me.
Oh, I didn’t understand it, when a lad I played about him,
But he labored for my safety in the days I’d be without him.
Oh, my kindly father never gave himself a year of leisure-
Never lived one selfish moment, never turned aside for pleasure-
Though he must have grown aweary of the burdens he was bearin’;
He was tryin’ hard to better every road I’d soon be farin’.
Now I turn an’ see them smilin’ an’ I hear their merry laughter,
An’ I’m glad to bear the burdens for the ones that follow after.