If (Poem by Isaac Ewan)


by Isaac Ewan

If you can rest from all self-righteous working,
As having died with Him who died for you,
To walk in light where evil things are lurking,
And stamp integrity on all you do;
If you can weigh the worth of public praising,
And be a gentleman behind the scenes,
And meet unmoved the purblind people’s gazing,
And know within what heaven’s favour means;
If you can take reproach and not resent it,
Return the ill-intended touch with good
When some have used your name amiss, and meant it,
And understand when you’re misunderstood;
If you can trust His love and never doubt it
When days are dark and skies are overcast,
And give your all and hold your tongue about it,
And still possess, in faith, resources vast;
If you can show unpatronising kindness
To silly souls who smile and think they know,
And not despise the tragedy of blindness,
The lone hand groping for the way to go;
If you can shun all subtle self-excusing,
And hold your heel on so-called little sins,
And know the tonic power of self-refusing
That wins the day before the fight begins;
If you can suffer wrong and be forgiving,
And rise to it in stateliness of soul,
And speak of Him to men by lip and living,
And, still imperfect, keep in view the goal;
If you can dwell in love’s dominion ample,
Where everlasting victories are won,
Pursue His path who left you His example
Then you’ll be something like a saint, my son.

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