It Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Guest
Somebody said that it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.
Compilation of 3 anonymous poems about life that I
Put together (Brian K. Rice)
Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a challenge, accept it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is a puzzle, solve it.
Life is a question, answer it.
Life is a road, take it.
Life is a diary, fill it.
Life is a wish-go get it,
Life is too precious, so do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to
dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended
upon the mountains of Zion;
for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for
Live Your Creed
Written by Langston Hughes
I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one any day.
I'd rather one walk with me than just to show the way.
The eye is a better pupil and more willing than the ear.
Advice may be misleading but examples are always clear.
And the very best of teachers are the ones who live their
For to see good put into action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn to do it if you let me see it done.
I can watch your hand in motion but your tongue too fast
And the lectures you deliver may be very fine and true
But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the fine advice you give
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how
If by 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 truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And (you) stoop (down) and build 'em up with wornout
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!
THE BRIDGE BUILDER
An old man, going a lone highway,
Came at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim-
That sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned, when he reached the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting strength in building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day;
You never again must pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you the bridge at the eventide?"
The builder lifted his old gray head.
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him."
-WILL ALLEN DROMGOOLE
A NEW DAY Dr. Heartsill Wilson
This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will.
I can waste it,
Or use it for good.
What I do today is important,
Because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes,
This day will be gone forever,
Leaving in its place
Something I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain not loss;
good not evil;
SUCCESS not failure;
In order that I shall not regret the price
I paid for it,
He was a man of flesh and blood;
he wasn’t made of rock;
Angel, Devil, child, a man of ordinary stock.
But somehow he was different –
true athletes always are;
For though he cursed, and bled, and sweat -
He prided in the scar.
He was told to win like a man,
no matter what the cost;
So many times he ventured forth….
so many times he lost.
And when he turned around I said,
“It’s okay son, you tried,”
He clenched his headgear in his fist,
and like a man he cried.
But from his tears came anger,
then when it ceased to spin,
He rose again,
determined that the next time he would win.
His trembling body strengthened;
His heart soared in the sky,
And his darkened soul stood flaming
with the fire in his eye.
And so he worked relentlessly,
he struggled and he strained;
His conscience whipped him mercilessly
for every ounce he gained.
He ran on legs like pistons,
his muscled arms grew sore;
He’d tell himself, “I have to win”
then ask himself, “What for?”
And then, at last the reckoning -
the final hour was here;
His stomach lightened dangerously,
his muscles tensed with fear.
Weak-kneed, he shook the challenger’s hand and then,
like one possessed
His instincts gave him power,
and his body did the rest.
It suddenly was ended.
His body seemed to scatter.
A crowd was cheering somewhere,
but to him it didn’t matter.
One thought was gleaming in his brain,
a thought that made him smile,
He’d given all he had –
and that made it all worthwhile.
He stood and faced his teammates -
with pride instead of shame;
He knew not if he’d won or lost,
but that he played the game.
And some call him a wrestler,
and some call him a man,
But he called himself a winner -
And the ref held up his hand.
We Wear the Mask by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1896
WE wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
Myself by Edgar A 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 have done.
a lot of secrets about myself
and fool myself as I come and go
into thinking no one else will ever know
the kind of person I really am,
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect
I want to deserve all men's respect;
but here in the struggle for fame and wealth
I want to be able to like myself.
I don't want to look at myself and know that
I am 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.
Don't Quit- Anonymous
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
when the funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh,
when care is pressing you down a bit - rest if you must,
Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about when he might have won
had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow - you may
succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and
often the struggler has given up when he might have
captured the victor's cup;
and he learned too late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out - the silver tint of the
clouds of doubt,
and when you never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar;
so stick to the fight when you're hardest hit - it's when
things seem worst,
you must not quit.
If You Believe You Can, You Can
If you think you are beaten--you are.
If you think you dare not--you don't.
If you want to win but think you can't,
It is almost a cinch you won't.
If you think you'll lose--you've lost.
For out in the world we find
That success begins with a fellow's will;
It's all in the state of mind.
Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man;
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the one who thinks he can.
~~ Author Unknown ~~
By Maltbie Davenport Babcock; 1858 - 1901
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift;
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift;
Shun not the struggle—face it; 'tis God's gift.
Say not, "The days are evil. Who's to blame?"
And fold the hands and acquiesce—oh shame!
Stand up, speak out, and bravely, in God's name.
It matters not how deep intrenched the wrong,
How hard the battle goes, the day how long;
Faint not—fight on! To-morrow comes the song.
(B. Rice version: Be Strong!
We are not here to play or to dream or to drift;
We all have hard work to do, and plenty of loads to lift;)
I use to have a Comfort Zone
Where I knew I couldn't fail
The same four walls of busy work
Were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things
I'd never done before,
But I stayed inside my Comfort Zone
And paced the same old floor.
I said it didn't matter,
That I wasn't doing much
I said I didn't care for things
Like diamonds, furs and such.
I claimed to be so busy
With the things inside my zone,
But deep inside I longed for
Something special of my own.
I couldn't let my life go by,
Just watching others win.
I held my breath and stepped outside
And let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength
I'd never felt before,
I kissed my Comfort Zone "goodbye"
And closed and locked the door.
If you are in a Comfort Zone,
Afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were
At one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise,
Can make your dreams come true.
Greet your future with a smile,
Success is there for you!
~~ Author Unknown ~~
Invictus by William Earnest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Mother To Son By: Langston Hughes
Well, son, I'll tell you:
Life for me aint't been no crystal stair.
It's had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor-
But all the time
I'se been a-climbin' on,
And reachin' landin's,
And turnin' corners,
And sometimes goin' in the dark
Where there ain't been no light.
So, boy, don't you turn back.
Don't you set down on the steps
'Cause you finds it's kinder hard.
Don't you fall now-
For I'se still goin', honey,
I'se still climbin',
And life for me ain't been no crystal stair.
See It Through by Edgar A Guest
When you're up against a trouble, Meet it squarely, face
to face; Lift your chin and set your shoulders, Plant your
feet and take a brace. When it's vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do; You may fail, but you may
conquer, See it through!
Black may be the clouds about you And your future may
seem grim, But don't let your nerve desert you; Keep
yourself in fighting trim. If the worst is bound to happen,
Spite of all that you can do, Running from it will not save
you, See it through!
Even hope may seem but futile, When with troubles
you're beset, But remember you are facing Just what
other men have met. You may fail, but fall still fighting;
Don't give up, whate'er you do; Eyes front, head high to
the finish. See it through!
Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Be The Best Of Whatever You Are by Douglas
Maloch early 1900s
If you can't be a pine on the top of a hill
Be a scrub in the valley, but be the best little scrub on
the side of the hill
Be a bush if you can't be a tree,
If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass
And some highway happier make.
If you can't be a muskie, then just be a bass,
But the liveliest bass in the lake.
We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,
There's something for all of us here.
There's big work to do and there's lesser work, too,
And the thing we must do is the near
If you can't be a highway, then just be a trail.
If you can't be the sun, be a star.
It isn't by size that you win or you fail.
Be the best of whatever you are.
Martin Luther King Version:
(Be the Best of Whatever You Are)
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper,
sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures,
sweep streets like Beethoven composed music,
sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the
Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry.
Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and
earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great
street sweeper who swept his job well.
If you can't be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in
Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can't be a tree.
If you can't be a highway, just be a trail.
If you can't be a sun, be a star.
For it isn't by size that you win or fail.
Be the best of whatever you are.