Berton Braley was an American poet. He was born in Madison, Wisconsin. His father, Arthur B. Braley, was a judge; he died when Berton Braley was seven years old. At 16, Braley quit high school and got a job working as a factory hand at a plow plant. After a few years, Braley went back to school and received his high school diploma. Shortly thereafter he discovered Tom Hood's poetry instructional book The Rhymester.
Braley was first published at the age of 11 when a small publication printed a fairy tale he wrote.
He was a prolific writer, with verses in many magazines, including Coal Age, American Machinist, Nation's Business, Forbes Magazine, Harper's Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, and the Saturday Evening Post. He published twenty books, about half of them being poetry collections.
In 1917, John Philip Sousa composed a marching song for the University of Wisconsin, titled Wisconsin Forward Forever with lyrics by Berton Braley.
In 1934, Braley published the autobiographical Pegasus Pulls a Hack: Memoirs of a Modern Minstrel.
The best verse hasn't been rhymed yet,
The best house hasn't been planned,
The highest peak hasn't been climbed yet,
The mightiest rivers aren't spanned;
Don't worry and fret, faint-hearted,
The chances have just begun
For the best jobs haven't been started,
The best work hasn't been done.