Poetry       Home Page   Family History   Family History         20 June 2012

IF                                                                    War Poetry



IF by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

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;

I 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!

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TO BE A PILGRIM by John Bunyan (1628-1688)   from Pilgrim's Progress

He who would valiant be 'Gainst all disaster,

Let him in constancy Follow the Master.

There's no discouragement Shall make him once relent

His first avowed intent To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round With dismal stories,

Do but themselves confound-His strength the more is.

No foes shall stay his might, Though he with giants fight:

He will make good his right To be a pilgrim.

Since, Lord, thou dost defend Us with thy Spirit,

We know we at the end Shall life inherit.

Then fancies flee away! I'll fear not what men say,

I'll labour night and day To be a pilgrim.

BUNYAN'S book, Pilgrim's Progress, was for generations to be found alongside the Bible in almost every literate household
in the land.  Bunyan was a Roundhead soldier and a Baptist 'minister, he was so puritanical that he banned singing in his church!                                                                                        Top of Page


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