Introduction

The poem, ‘The way to succeed’ is written to advise young children on how to achieve success. The poet starts by advising that young age is the best age to have a dream and to work on it to become successful. Also, he talks about the importance of cultivating good habits at a young age as they all accelerate the ways to succeed. The poet confirms that without determination and hard work one couldn’t achieve success. The poet concludes by motivating children to work until their goal is achieved.

About the poet

The poem ‘The way to succeed’ is written by Norman Macleod (3 June 1812 – 16 June 1872). He was a Scottish clergyman and author. He was a religious man and was largely instrumental in the work of strengthening the Scottish church.

 Theme

The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice which you gave to others. Success is aspired by everyone in this world but only a few people become capable of tasting real success. Everything is possible in this world and people are making it happen. In the same way, becoming successful is difficult but not impossible. It requires several sacrifices, hard work, dedication, and time management. The people who are focused and have a keen desire to make their dream come true can surely become successful in their life.

Stanza 1

Drive the nail aright, boys,
Hit it on the head;
Strike with all your might, boys,
While the iron’s red.

In this poem, the poet gives suggestions to succeed in life. According to the poet, failure is a stepping stone to success. He addresses the group of boys and tells them to persevere and work hard. He tells them to be active and to possess a higher aim. He tells them to be positive and to be confident. He asks them not to lose hope but to try. He tells the boys not to give up.

Stanza 2

When you have work to do, boys,
Do it with a will;
They who reach the top, boys,
First must climb the hill.

The poet believes that one should have clear aims and vision and use the opportunity in the right way because opportunities do not knock on our door twice. One has to work hard and perform it or carry it out with a will. Work done with pleasure is always good and brings joy and happiness. When one works with confidence, zest, zeal, and joy it becomes sublime.

Stanza 3

Standing at the foot, boys,
Gazing at the sky;
How can you get up, boys,
If you never try?

In the course of getting success, one may stumble often and feel downcast. Then we have to work again. One should keep on trying. To reach the top one must climb the hill and never hope for the best without putting effort. One should remember that where there is a will there is a way.

Stanza 4

Though you stumble oft, boys,
Never be downcast;
Try, and try again, boys,
You’ll succeed at last.

The poet wants the readers to work hard, make use of the opportunity, reach the top with all their might, think positively, work with pleasure and confidence, keep on trying and success will be at our doors.