It Couldn't Be Done

Original Text: 
Edgar A. Guest, Breakfast Table Chat (Detroit, 1914): 148. NBI (Guest, E. A. Breakfast Table Chat) New York Public Library
1Somebody said that it couldn't be done
2    But he with a chuckle replied
3That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
4    Who wouldn't say so till he tried.
5So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
6    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
7He started to sing as he tackled the thing
8    That couldn't be done, and he did it!
9Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
10    At least no one ever has done it;"
11But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
12    And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
13With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
15He started to sing as he tackled the thing
16    That couldn't be done, and he did it.
17There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
18    There are thousands to prophesy failure,
19There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
20    The dangers that wait to assail you.
21But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
22    Just take off your coat and go to it;
23Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
24    That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.


14] quiddit: quiddity, subtlety. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2000.