If – Poem by Rudyard Kipling

1
2012

If—” is a poem by British Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling, written in 1895 and first published in Rewards and Fairies (an historical fantasy book by Rudyard Kipling published in 1910.)

It is a tribute to Dr. Leander Starr Jameson, who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. The ‘Jameson Raid‘ was later considered a major factor in starting the Boer War (1899-1902).

The poem is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet’s son, John.

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.

All the Best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

if-by-rudyard-kipling

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Lanre Dahunsi is an Entrepreneur/ Digital Marketing Strategist. He is the Chief Digital Strategist of Cnergy Media (A Digital Marketing Consulting Firm). He is also the Team Lead of OpportunitiesForAfricans.com: An Online portal that connect Africans to the Latest life changing opportunities. around the globe. Lanre is an Avid Reader, Life Long Learner, Self Motivated Change Agent and Language Polyglot ( He speaks English and French). Shoot Lanre a Mail : lanredahunsi@yahoo.com or mail@lanredahunsi.com

1 COMMENT

  1. I want to say I’m really lucky to have checked your website because for years I have searched for this poem ‘IF’ because I couldn’t remember the author. I learnt it while I was in one of the junior secondary classes. Thank you Lanre for bringing back one of the beautiful memories of my childhood.

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