by Robert Service (1874 - 1958)

Language: English 
If you're up against a bruiser and you're getting knocked about —
If you're feeling pretty groggy, and you're licked beyond a doubt —
Don't let him see you're funking, let him know with every clout,
Though your face is battered to a pulp, your blooming heart is stout;
Just stand upon your pins until the beggar knocks you out —
⁠And grin.
This life's a bally battle, and the same advice holds true
⁠Of grin.
If you're up against it badly, then it's only one on you,
⁠So grin.
If the future's black as thunder, don't let people see you're blue;
Just cultivate a cast-iron smile of joy the whole day through;
If they call you "Little Sunshine," wish that they'd no troubles, too —
⁠You may — grin.
Rise up in the morning with the will that, smooth or rough,
⁠You'll grin.
Sink to sleep at midnight, and although you're feeling tough,
⁠Yet grin.
There's nothing gained by whining, and you're not that kind of stuff;
You're a fighter from away back, and you won't take a rebuff;
Your trouble is that you don't know when you have had enough —
⁠Don't give in.
If Fate should down you, just get up and take another cuff;
You may bank on it that there is no philosophy like bluff,
⁠And grin.

Confirmed with The Spell of the Yukon and Other Verses, New York, Barse & Hopkins, 1907, pages 53-54.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-11-10
Line count: 27
Word count: 224