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The Upstream Pull

From the Omaha Daily Bee, October 3, 1912.
By W. D. Nesbit.

 It’s easy when you’re drifting with the current down the stream,
 When the oars are shipped beside you and the laughing waters gleam;
 When there’s naught to do but idle in the cushioned seat and bask
 In the happy, glowing sunshine while the water does the task.
 But there comes a sudden waking from the fancy and the dream
 When the time arrives that someone has to pull against the stream.
 The fellow who’s contented while the current bears him on
 Finds that every mile he travels shows a wished-for haven gone;
 Finds the water bears him softly where the waiting chances lie,
 But unless he does some rowing it will swiftly bear him by;
 Finds that down the stream the niches that he looks for are all full,
 And that if he’d seek the right one he must turn about and pull.
 But it’s easy—very easy—just to float along and dream,
 Yet the man some time discovers that he cannot float upstream,
 And he learns, too, that the world is full of folks that like to drift,
 But the farther down the river there the current grows more swift;
 And he also learns in sorrow that successful ones would seem
 To have no use for the fellow who will never pull upstream.

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