Charles

'If'

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If

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 imposters 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 wornout 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 breath 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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That is one amazing poem! Thank you so very much for posting it!! (Also, do I have your permission to move it to the "poems by the masters" thread?)

Sure B)

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If

[...]

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

[...]

[...]

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

[...]

I can see why (as I recall reading) this was Ayn Rand's favorite poem. Today I especially like the excerpted lines.

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If

[...]

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

[...]

[...]

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

[...]

I can see why (as I recall reading) this was Ayn Rand's favorite poem. Today I especially like the excerpted lines.

Yep. Good for you, Phil. That really put a smile on my face.

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I love Kipling's muscular, direct style.

I think the accepted punctuation is different at a few points:

And - which is more - you'll be a Man[,] my son!
Or watch the things you gave your life to[,] broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn[-]out tools;
Those are ones that jumped out at me.

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If

[...]

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

[...]

[...]

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

[...]

I can see why (as I recall reading) this was Ayn Rand's favorite poem. Today I especially like the excerpted lines.

I have been receiving an increasing number of letters, asking many questions about Objectivism—more questions than I can answer by mail. So I shall indicate where the answers may be obtained. I am addressing myself to those who are genuinely interested in ideas and who, therefore, have an authentic desire to understand Objectivism. "Those who're making an effort to fail to understand me, are not a concern of mine."...

Some of the misrepresentations may be unintentional, since some people find it difficult to grasp new ideas, let alone to summarize them correctly. But most of the misrepresentations are deliberate, since an attempt to ascribe to a writer the exact opposite of her ideas can hardly be attributed to an innocent error...

On a television interview, Mike Wallace once asked me what I thought of such tactics. I answered that I agree with a line of advice from Kipling's poem "If": "if you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools..." I can bear it. It is not fools that I seek to address.

-- Ayn Rand Column, Aug 26, 1962

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If

[...]

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

[...]

[...]

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

[...]

I can see why (as I recall reading) this was Ayn Rand's favorite poem. Today I especially like the excerpted lines.

Considering recent goings-on elsewhere, so do I. :)

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