It Was Oft

It was oft, when I was young
That I bit the hand that fed me
They gave me discipline with my pleasure
And fed me greens with my gravy

I thought, “The hand that feeds may also grasp
And hold me to an iron task.
They are fools who stick to their rails
And live by what is taught them.”

So I favored experience
To any kind of dissertation
I leapt on high when I should creep
And laughed at those who’d stop me

I am a little different now, I think,
A little battered for the wear
A little mud’s stuck in the ironworks
From all the times I left the rail

I’ll grant I’ve made some new roads
Where before was only trees
But what a way to forge them
And at what great cost to me!

So I find myself now lecturing
To anyone who’ll come my way
That discipline was made for pleasure:
“Listen to experience, and stick to your rails.”

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