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(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

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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 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!

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Read poems about / on: loss, trust, son, truth, dream, lost, hate, running, friend

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Comments about this poem (A Dedication to Soldiers Three by Rudyard Kipling )

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  • Mariam Daoud (3/23/2014 12:56:00 PM)


    7 person liked.
    26 person did not like.
  • Yogiraj Biplab (3/21/2014 10:30:00 PM)

    I read it in my class-X.It gave me so power in my life.

  • Didith Marcelo (3/20/2014 4:31:00 PM)

    I think this poem is stunning, very wise writing its great.

  • City Blue (3/6/2014 2:00:00 AM)

    I love this poem, it almost compels you to want to be a better person. Tinged with sadness as it was read at my grandfather's funeral.

  • Gary Jordan (3/3/2014 11:58:00 AM)

    AMAZING poetry. Love it!

  • Vi Nhat Thuy (3/1/2014 7:28:00 PM)

    'If' is a wonderful poem - I read and feel like getting something out of it too! ...and love to read Kipling's! 'Kim' was the first book introduced me to his writing - then his other poems like 'Mandalay'...all fascinated!

  • Valentin Savin (2/26/2014 12:20:00 PM)

    Nice poem, good sayings. I fully agree with... don't look too good, nor talk to wise. Be natural and frank and people will follow you.

  • Jon Snow (2/2/2014 2:17:00 AM)

    This is one of my favorite poems! Love it.

  • Len Webster (1/18/2014 7:16:00 AM)

    This remains one of the great poems in English.

  • Cassidy Fohs (1/6/2014 8:38:00 PM)

    I really like this poem it's inspiring and hopeful; a great combination I think.

Read all 228 comments »

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