Rudyard Kipling's Poem ''If''


This famous poem by Rudyard Kipling from 1895 incorporates an unusual amount of Asian wisdom (with a zen-like embrace of paradox) for something written by a Westerner, but Kipling did work and travel extensively in India and Asia. It can be used as a source of aphorisms useful as Go meta-proverbs.


by Rudyard Kipling

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

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

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

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

Rudyard Kipling's Poem ''If'' last edited by on May 31, 2011 - 10:42
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