A mirror of life. Such a strange thought but one that should resonate with everyone. It is this mirror of life that tells all, shows all, and is never clouded by the imagery of self that is untrue. What does this all mean?

Sadly, what is termed as the "mirror of life" takes hold of one's innermost self when all is quiet, when all other people are gone on their way, and when one is left with nothing more than pure, unfiltered thoughts about what has really transpired in a particular day, week, month or year. As Edgar Guest so clearly states, "Always to look myself straight in the eye; I don't want to stand with the setting sun And hate myself for the things I've done." It is obvious that Guest relates what all people should be able to do, or, at the very least, admit that what is reflected in their daily life should not be those actions, thoughts, and behaviors that must be hidden from everyone else. It is to say that what we all do must be exposed for everyone else to see, to judge without being painted with the brush of lies and deceit. The question each person should ask of themselves is clear: can what you do, say, or think be acceptable in the harsh light of the day?

Secrets never stay secret. Those who believe what they do that is less than honorable or truthful await exposure no matter who you are, or how important you think you are. At the end of life, how will what you are, what you've done be measured against how God wants all of us to act and behave? At the end of time, we will all be judged for not only what is visible to others but more importantly what is known by our God who knows all things past and present. These are the questions that poet Edgar Guest asks of us all.

Short Poems   /   Famous Poems   /   Edgar A. Guest Poems    /   Myself - in Poems About Life

by Edgar Guest

I have to live with myself, and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know;
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand with the setting sun
And hate myself for the things I've done.

I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don't want to dress myself up in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in this struggle for fame and pelf,
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to think as I come and go
That I'm for bluster and bluff and empty show.

I never can hide myself from me,
I see what others may never see,
I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself - and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

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