poem by Rudyard Kipling

"If—" is a poem by English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), that was written circa 1895.[1] It was written as a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. It is a literary example of Victorian-era stoicism.[2]

by Rudyard Kipling
A Doubleday, Page & Co. edition from 1910
First published inRewards and Fairies
PublisherDoubleday, Page & Company
Publication date1910 (114 years ago) (1910)
Reading of "If—" by Rudyard Kipling

One day there was a man and he told his son
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![3]


  1. "If by Rudyard Kipling : If, poem by Rudyard Kipling : Poems 007". Archived from the original on 2017-02-10. Retrieved 2018-07-25.
  2. Osborne, Kristen (28 April 2013). McKeever, Christine (ed.). "Rudyard Kipling: Poems Study Guide: Summary and Analysis of "If—"". GradeSaver. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  3. Kipling, Rudyard (1910). rewards and Fairies (First ed.). London: Macmillan.

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