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You Have to Find Out for Yourself

From The Seattle Star, July 16, 1913. By Berton Braley.

Now Adam most probably knew
    Much more about life than his son,
But I’ll warrant his son snorted, “Pooh,”
    When father told what should be done.

Like many a boy who is bright,
    He said, “The Old Man’s on the Shelf.”
Well—he learned that his father was right,
    But he had to find out for himself.

And so it has gone down the years,
    The young ever doubting the old
And suffering sorrow and tears
    Because they refuse to be told.

Each girl—oh, you couldn’t tell her;
    Each boy was a wise little elf
And so, as was bound to occur,
    He had to find out for himself.

Through trouble and sorrow and pain
    We gather the little we know,
And then when we try to explain
    Our children just laugh as they go.

You laughed at the words of your dad
    (And you’ve paid both in worry and pelf)
And you’ll get the same deal from your lad,
    For he has to find out for himself!