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How Did You Die?
by
Edmund Vance Cooke


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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 the death, what then?
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?

 

This poem is in the public domain.

 

 

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Edmund Vance Cooke (1866 - 1932), often referred to as "the poet laureate of childhood," was born in 1866, in Ontario, Canada. He began working at the White Sewing Machine Co. factory as a teenager and stayed there for 14 years, until he became a self-employed poet and lecturer in 1893. His first book of poems, A Patch of Pansies, came out the next year. Edmund was a fine and highly entertaining poet whom many critics consider underrated; he published sixteen collections of poetry during the course of his career, plus many children's books.

 

 

 

 


New comments are closed for now.
Dorcas:
Something to ponder. I love it.
Posted 08/12/2016 10:35 PM
jonidee61:
I've always liked this one, thanks for the reminder!
Posted 08/12/2016 03:13 PM
transitions:
Thought provoking to say the least...I was glad to read it ~ thanks for posting.
Posted 08/12/2016 02:21 PM
KevinArnold:
Interesting that Cooke calls God "the Critic." Robust poetry.
Posted 08/12/2016 09:08 AM
Jancan:
I love the poem you shared with us today. It speaks TRUTH. Janice
Posted 08/12/2016 08:13 AM
rhonasheridan:
One can but agree
Posted 08/12/2016 04:24 AM


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