When you launch your bark for sailing
On the sea of life, O youth!
Clothe your heart and soul and spirit
In the blessèd garb of Truth.
Guard your every word and action:
Never do and never say
Aught you cannot meet with pleasure
On the mighty judgment-day.
You will meet with rocks and breakers-
Cards and wine the most to fear.
Do not pause nor linger by them,
For the devil lurketh near.
Cards and wine, the two great breakers
That have wrecked so many souls-
Wrecked and shattered, lost to heaven,
At the table-in the bowls.
O young man! life is before you,
Shun the road that leads to death,
God will guide you if you ask him:
'Seek me-here I am!' he saith.
Turn to him in all temptations,
He will help and he will save.
When you feel your courage failing,
He will make you strong and brave.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox