Was out last night with my sister and our girls. The very cool balloon guy sat and talked with us about poetry and poets. He shared the name of this poet and most of this poem with us. Of course, I had to come home and check out the entire work. It is so incredible and necessary for every one to know it, I had to share.
I thought this was the only work of poetry this man ever penned. It was great to learn he wrote prolifically.
Edmund Vance Cooke (1866-1932)
How Did You Die?
1 Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
2 With a resolute heart and cheerful?
3 Or hide your face from the light of day
4 With a craven soul and fearful?
5 Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
6 Or a trouble is what you make it,
7 And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
8 But only how did you take it?
9 You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
10 Come up with a smiling face.
11 It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
12 But to lie there -- that's disgrace.
13 The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
14 Be proud of your blackened eye!
15 It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
16 It's how did you fight -- and why?
17 And though you be done to the death, what then?
18 If you battled the best you could,
19 If you played your part in the world of men,
20 Why, the Critic will call it good.
21 Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
22 And whether he's slow or spry,
23 It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
24 But only how did you die?