Knights of the Pain Table

A Camelot for Sufferers of Chronic Pain

The English Boy by Geoffrey Winthrop Young- I Wish for Him

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The English Boy


The English Boy

I wish for him
strength; that he may be strong in every limb,
stubborn and fearless, with no cover to thank,
fighting for men with men in the front rank.

I wish him kind;
that he may have the weak always in mind:
such kindness as first treads the path of fear,
not tendance on the wounded in the rear.

I’d have him grow
deep-breathed, deep-hearted, cherished of
wind and snow;
loving delightful laughter, and harsh thrills
in summer rivers and on perilous hills.

I wish him sight;
that he may read the world’s real beauties right:
and for himself, wit and a laughing heart,
lest he may rage to bear so small a part.

I wish him thought;
that he may fashion faith even to a nought,
rather than take another’s creed on trust,
and pass a fool and profitless to dust.

I’d have him range
a rebel, loving change only for change;
till he can forge a yoke for his broad back
and drag his kind one step up some new track.

Let him know men,
and have all acts, all passions in his ken:
they win no wars who peep on life askance
and shoot wise saws from sheltered ignorance.

Let him be flame,
quenchless and vital, in all winds the same;
fuse soul and body, and refine through years
judgment from passion, joy from his burning tears.

So let him live:
love work, love rest, love all that life can give;
and when he grows too weary to feel joy,
leave life, with laughter, to some other boy.

by Geoffrey Winthrop Young


Geoffrey Winthrop Young (1876 – 1958) was a British climber, poet and educator. He developed a love of mountaineering and became good friends with George Mallory. What is extraordinary is that he lost his left leg during the time of the war and still continued to climb. He is also one of the key figures behind the "Outward Bound" movement.

We thank Geoffrey Young for this most beautiful poem.

Lady Sharon
Scribe of Knights of the Pain Table

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One Response to “The English Boy by Geoffrey Winthrop Young- I Wish for Him”

  1. Greeting from over the sea. excellent post I will return for more.