When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit—
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit!
Life is odd with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he stuck it out.
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—
You may succeed with another blow!
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup;
And he learned too late when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit!
Poetry to Keep Fit By
Years ago I memorized this old poem and others that I’ve often recited to myself as I went for walks or ‘treaded the mill’. Apart from helping me keep up my speed, this one inspires me to persevere.
Poetry, A Cure For Insomnia
People often complain that they have trouble falling asleep. I do, too, so over the years I’ve memorized a number of poems and scriptures that I recite to myself if I’m lying awake; they help relax me and get my mind off the cares of the day. (Especially Longfellow’s The Day is Done. 🙂 )
Poetry, A Comfort in Old Age
I’ve worked in nursing homes. It’s my belief that every young person should be obliged to spend six months working in one. It teaches you like nothing else can. There you see the inescapable truth of “Whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap” vividly displayed.
You won’t be entertained non-stop in these places. Yeah, there’s TV, but some folks lose their hearing; they sit and stare at a TV and have no clue what’s happening. Some folks lose their vision. I used to sit and sing to a blind lady in one of the places I worked; those old hymns she learned as a child were precious to her.
What you put in your mind when you’re young and rehearse through the years will stay with you when you’re sitting alone and bored. (And your offspring are off chasing the almighty dollar, as per your example?) Memorization is a worthwhile investment toward your old age. Folks that have lost Today –and even the ability to communicate– can often be reached through their childhood songs & poems.