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Carry On



It's easy to fight when everything's right,
  And you're mad with the thrill and the glory;
It's easy to cheer when victory's near,
  And wallow in fields that are gory.
It's a different song when everything's wrong,
  When you're feeling infernally mortal;
When it's ten against one, and hope there is none,
  Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:

Carry on! Carry on!
There isn't much punch in your blow.
You're glaring and staring and hitting out blind;
You're muddy and bloody, but never you mind.
Carry on! Carry on!
You haven't the ghost of a show.
It's looking like death, but while you've a breath,
Carry on, my son! Carry on!

And so in the strife of the battle of life
  It's easy to fight when you're winning;
It's easy to slave, and starve and be brave,
  When the dawn of success is beginning.
But the man who can meet despair and defeat
  With a cheer, there's the man of God's choosing;
The man who can fight to Heaven's own height
  Is the man who can fight when he's losing.

Carry on! Carry on!
Things never were looming so black.
But show that you haven't a cowardly streak,
And though you're unlucky you never are weak.
Carry on! Carry on!
Brace up for another attack.
It's looking like hell, but -- you never can tell:
Carry on, old man! Carry on!

There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,
  And some who in brutishness wallow;
There are others, I know, who in piety go
  Because of a Heaven to follow.
But to labour with zest, and to give of your best,
  For the sweetness and joy of the giving;
To help folks along with a hand and a song;
  Why, there's the real sunshine of living.

Carry on! Carry on!
Fight the good fight and true;
Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here.
Carry on! Carry on!
Let the world be the better for you;
And at last when you die, let this be your cry:
Carry on, my soul! Carry on!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:56 min read
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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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    "Carry On" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32040/carry-on>.

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