A modern take on what appear to be the virtues needed for the highest office. It is based on If, by Rudyard Kipling.

I’ve written a song, based on this poem.

27 August, 2018

Mine Original
If you can rant and rave when all about you If you can keep your head when all about you
Are staying calm regardless, and despising you, Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself despite huge doubts about you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
And ignore all those that doubt you too; But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can’t wait and childishly fear waiting, If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or lie non-stop, deal exclusively in lies, Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or hate, foster an atmosphere of hating, Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And distort, nor seek counsel from the wise: And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
   
If you quash dreams-make dream-quashing your master; If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you don’t think-make thoughtless speech your game; If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can Triumph while others meet Disaster If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And don’t treat those two extremes the same; And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear the chaos from lies you’ve spoken If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Ignore truth imparted by counsel skilful, Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch our beautiful world, now broken, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And not mend her by taxing the powerful: And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
   
If you can make the 1% more winnings If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk not a jot reviving those who’ve lost, And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And mistreat those you’ve failed from the beginning And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And breathe fiery words at their loss; And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can act with heartless greed anew If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To self-serve and crush hope for everyone, To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And cling on when there’s nothing good within you And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except Ignorant Will which says to you: ‘Hold on!’ Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
   
If you can rant at crowds and dispel all virtue, If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings, never the common touch, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If you scream “fake news!” when they dare to slight you, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If just few men validate your poisoned touch; If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With one-hundred-and-forty keys shotgun, With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth plundered for everything in it, Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And, what’s more, you’ll lead the ‘free world’, my son! And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

 

Creative Commons License
If by Steven Huckle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://glowkeeper.github.io/assets/poetry/If/.