How Did You Die?
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
with a resolute heart, and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
with a craven soul, and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton,
or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only, how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth?
Well, well -- what's that?!
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- THAT's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown,
why, the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts;
It's how did you fight? and why?
And though you be done to death,
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl,
or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow, or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only, HOW DID YOU DIE?
By Edmund Vance Cooke
from Impertinent Poems, 1903
I don't know how I ran across this poem, but I found it in a "stack of stuff" as Rush Limbaugh says. I am posting this at the public library, so I cannot enter my usual ending signature rose... A Great Week to all who happen to read this post! Don't forget to Pray For America...