If by Rudyard Kipling


Not hard to understand -

English level: about Cambridge First Certificate or above.

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you

But make allowance for their doubting too,

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master,

If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much,

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And--which is more--you'll be a Man, my son!


All the world's a stage, by William Shakespeare

(As You Like It, 2. 7. 139-167)

All the world’s a stage

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances.

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.


At first, the infant,

Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.

Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel

And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school.


And then the lover,

Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow.


Then a soldier,

Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,

Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,

Seeking the bubble reputation

Even in the canon's mouth.


And then the justice,

In fair round belly with good capon lined,

With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,

Full of wise saws and modern instances;

And so he plays his part.


The sixth age shifts

Into the lean and slippered pantaloon

With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;

His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide

For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,

Turning again toward childish treble, pipes

And whistles in his sound.

Last scene of all,


That ends this strange eventful history,

Is second childishness and mere oblivion,

Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

merely = only


mule = moan


puke = vomit


whine = make a crying noise


satchel = a bag (still) used by schoolchildren to carry their books and equipment


woeful = sad, lovelorn


oaths = swearing


bearded like the pard = as hairy as a leopard


capon = a type of chicken


wise saws = proverbs


pantaloon = a foolish figure, made fun of by the other characters


youthful hose = clothing from earlier times


shrunk shank = shrunken body

his = its


sans = without

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