Quitter Poem

My friend, the inimitable E, posted the following poem on her blog — a blog anyone remotely interested in Africa, microfinance, or “stranger in a strange world”-type travel observations should read post haste.

The Quitter – Robert Service
When you’re lost in the Wild, and you’re scared as a child
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you’re sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and die

But the Code of a Man says: “Fight all you can.”
And self dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh it’s easy to blow…
It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard.

“You’re sick of the game!” Well, now that’s a shame.
You’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright.
“You’ve had a raw deal!” I know – but don’t squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest and fight.

It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit, it’s so easy to quit.
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.

It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten – and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight –
Why that’s the best game of them all!

And though you’ve come out of each grueling bout,
All broken and battered and scarred,
Just have one more try – it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

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