How Did You Die?
by Edmund Vance Cook
(1866-1932)

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a troubleís a ton, or a troubleís an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it.
And it isnít the fact that youíre hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

 
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, whatís that?
Come up with a smiling face.
Itís nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- thatís disgrace.
The harder youíre thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isnít the fact that youíre licked that counts;
Itís how did you fight and why?

 
And though you be done to death, what then?
If you battled the best you could;
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether heís slow or spry,
It isnít the fact that youíre dead that counts,
But only, how did you die?