Sunday, December 13, 2020

Rudyard Kipling - If

This was on a card I was given at confirmation some 50+ years ago, or perhaps at high school graduation.  I didn't know then that it was famous and knew only that Kipling had written adventure stories about India.

I suspect it is less popular these days.

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!


PenGun said...

I was raised on Kipling. An English education gave you lots of his stuff. My favourite line from this, I used to repeat to myself was:

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,"

james said...

Aye. For some reason this one wasn't part of the rest of the Kipling in our household growing up, but I ran into it soon enough after I left home. I was the cat who walked by himself.

Roy Lofquist said...

Kipling, the Musical..

Sam L. said...

Kipling, as "we all know" is a RACISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSST. According to people we do not trust.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, all the people who taught us most about the virtues of those people we regarded as wogs must now be banned. Because something, something uh yes racist. Same for authors who taught us not to be sexist. No longer acceptable, because they didn't use 21st C phrasing.

james said...

All understanding of "others" must be filtered through the approved representatives.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, exactly. The opinion of the others matters not.