Thursday, 22 February 2007

I bought this old (and rather tatty) picture in the local Sue Ryder shop yesterday. I have seen this poem before but thought I would share it with you as I think it is lovely. It was written by Wilbur D Nesbit (1871 - 1927) and it is obviously has the similarity to Kipling's 'If' poem written in 1895 about Man. I have copied the poem below and would be interested to hear what you think.


If you can smile, and share another’s gladness
Though yours may be denied, and still rejoice;
If you can bravely face regret and sadness
And let no bitter accent tinge your voice;
If you are free from bias and fault-finding
And make your creed the olden Golden Rule;
With neither fear nor doubt your vision blinding,
Can live each day serene, and sweet, and cool –

If you can bar out envy from your spirit
And keep the little jealousies away;
If when some gossip starts, you do not hear it
Unless at once you rise and ask fair play;
If you can let good sense determine pleasure,
Can look upon yourself with honest eyes;
If you can give your full friendship in full measure,
And find your life the stronger for its ties.

If you can desire below your duty
And find in work and study much of joy;
If you can turn from artificial beauty
To that real charm which never needs alloy;
If you can help where you know help is needed,
And even make your silence sympathize;
If you can let unkindness go unheeded,
And always see God’s sunshine in the skies –

If you can fill your soul with gentle kindness,
And hold your faith no matter what may come,
Let neither greed nor pride blight you with blindness,
Nor self-love all your finer motives numb;
If you can love, and hope with rare believing,
Can shun the dross, and ever seek the worth,
Then you will find life’s fabric you are weaving
Means Womanhood – God’s greatest gift to earth.
Wilbur D Nesbit


  1. Hi Ruth, Such beautiful words, a really wonderful idiom to live by. Clare x

  2. Just a quick note to say Hi and welcome, noticed you were new, I started up in December so still feel quite new to it all.

    It's great fun browsing the blogs. There are some great websites too, including yours.

    Will come back again soon.
    Best wishes Ginny

  3. Hello Ruth! Thank you for visiting my blog and telling me about this lovely poem. I will definatly save it. Truly beautiful!


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  5. I grew up with an exact copy of this poem hanging on my bedroom wall, and I read it frequently. I hung it on my daughter's bedroom wall as she grew up. We both often quote the first two lines ("If you can smile, and share another's gladness though yours may be denied, and still rejoice...") although our copy of the poem disappeared some time ago. Thank you for sharing it.