On Quitting

Original Text: 
Edgar A. Guest, Just Folks (Chicago: Reilly & Lee, 1917), pp. 110-11. PS 3513 U45J77 1917 c. 1 ROBA
2Can you quit a thing that you like a lot?
3You may talk of pluck; it's an easy word,
4And where'er you go it is often heard;
5But can you tell to a jot or guess
6Just how much courage you now possess?
7You may stand to trouble and keep your grin,
8But have you tackled self-discipline?
9Have you ever issued commands to you
10To quit the things that you like to do,
11And then, when tempted and sorely swayed,
12Those rigid orders have you obeyed?
13Don't boast of your grit till you've tried it out,
14Nor prate to men of your courage stout,
15For it's easy enough to retain a grin
16In the face of a fight there's a chance to win,
17But the sort of grit that is good to own
18Is the stuff you need when you're all alone.
19How much grit do you think you've got?
20Can you turn from joys that you like a lot?
21Have you ever tested yourself to know
22How far with yourself your will can go?
23If you want to know if you have grit,
24Just pick out a joy that you like, and quit.
26It will keep you busy both day and night;
27For the toughest kind of a game you'll find
28Is to make your body obey your mind.
29And you never will know what is meant by grit
30Unless there's something you've tried to quit.

Notes

1] grit: toughness, determination. Back to Line
25] bully: terrific. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Form: