About the poem, If by Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Morris wrote: "The central idea of this poem is that success comes from self-control
and a true sense of the values of things. In extremes lies danger. A man
must not lose heart because of doubts or opposition, yet he must do his
best to see the grounds for both. He must not be deceived into thinking
either triumph or disaster final; he must use each wisely--and push on.
In all things he must hold to the golden mean. If he does, he will own
the world, and even better, for his personal reward he will attain the
full stature of manhood.
Poet: Rudyard Kipling
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 truths 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.
If any line that I ever penned, Or any word I have spoken, Has comforted heart of foe or friend -
In any way, why my life, I'll say, Has reaped the reward of labour, If aught I have said, or written, has made
Gladder the heart o' my neighbour.
If any deed that I ever did Lightened a sad heart's sorrow,
If I have lifted a drooping lid Up to the bright to-morrow, Though the world knows not, nor gives me a thought, Nor ever can know, nor praise me,
Yet still I shall say, to my heart alway, That my life and labour repay me.
If in any way I have helped a soul, Or given a spirit pleasure, Then my cup of joy, I shall think, is full
With an overflowing measure. Though never an eye but the one on high
Looks on my kindly action, Yet, O my heart, we shall think of our part
In the drama, with satisfaction.
Rather than wonder, what if,
Live your life with confidence.
You made your choices, let them be
Do go back to, what if, could I see.
If I had done this and if I had done that
Won't change a thing or bring your choice back.
Things may have been different, without a doubt
But focusing on what if will only make you pout.
No matter what faces you today
Use your knowledge to find your way
Do the best that you can do
Don't let "what if" get in the way!
If I could climb to heavenly heights,
And beg one gift from the white-winged choir
I would not ask a greater boon
Than the power to inspire,
To lift by timely words and acts
The weak from day to day,
To point them to a higher life
To brighten all their way.
Poet: Howard Carleton Tripp
If man would but his finer nature know!
How much of sorrow, misery and woe
Would from his life be sifted out, and then
Much nobler still might be his fellow men!
If man would but his better nature learn!
How much of passion, much of sins that burn
The life-blood from his heart so full of doubt
Might, by this learning, all be blotted out!
If man would but his finer nature feel!
How many painful wounds his hands might heal
That now make miserable his brothers, when
They should be helpful, earnest, toiling men!
If man would truly know and feel and learn
His better nature, he to God must turn
And walk with Him who on dark Gallilee
Walked o'er the waves and set the sinner free.
If man would grandly feel and learn and know
His better nature he could onward go
From one great deed to others just as grand,
Until he came to God's fair Perfect Land.
If And Perhaps
Poet: Emma C. Dowd
If every one were wise and sweet
And every one were jolly;
If every heart with gladness beat,
And none were melancholy;
If none should grumble or complain,
And nobody should labour
In evil work, but each were fain
To love and help his neighbour -
Oh, what a happy world 'twould be
For you and me - for you and me!
And if, perhaps, we both should try
That glorious time to hurry;
If you and I - just you and I -
Should laugh instead of worry;
If we should grow - just you and I -
Kinder and sweeter hearted,
Perhaps in some near by and by
That good time might get started.
Then what a happy world 'twould be
For you and me — for you and me!
If you can go to church, when all about you,
Are going everywhere but to the house of prayer,
If you can travel straight, when others wobble,
And do not seem to have a righteous care;
If you can undertake a noble service.
Expecting others to pitch in and boost,
But find them doing everything to hinder
Or sitting down like biddies on a roost.
If you possess yourself and pray, "God bless you"
When every muscle in you aches to smite;
When something says, "Give up, give up the struggle!
Since others fall, why stand alone, and fight?"
You'll find a Presence by you, in the furnace,
You'll find a Presence by you, on the sea,
You'll find a Presence by you, in the battle -
Yes! everywhere and always, Victory!
If you can trust, when others faint and falter.
Or stand and serve, when others flee away.
Unmoved by either Jezebel or Ahab,
Remaining faithful every livelong day,
If you can keep your courage up, and boost it,
Yes! boost the Church right on, until the end,
You'll prove yourself a very Noble Human,
And what is more, you'll be a saint, my friend