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The Quitter


Robert W Service


When you're lost in the wild and you're scared as a child

And death looks you bang in the eye;

And you're sore as a boil;

It's according to Hoyle,

To cock your revolver and die,

But the code of a man says fight all you can,

And self-dissolution is barred;

Inhunger and woe Oh its easy to blow,

Its the hell served for breakfast that's hard.


You're sick of the game? Well now thats a shame!,

You're young, you're brave and you're bright,

You've had a raw deal, I know, but don't squeal,

Buck up, do your damnest, and fight,

Its the plugging away that will win you the day,

So don’t be a piker old pard,

Just draw on your grit, its dead easy to quit,

Its the keeping your chin up that’s hard.


Its easy to cry that you're beaten, and die,

Its easy to crayfish and crawl,

But to fight and to fight when hopes out of sight,

That's the best game of them all,

And though you come out of each gruelling bout,

All beaten, broken and scarred,

Just have one more try, its dead easy to die,

Its the keeping on living that's hard.


During the time of my captivity as a Prisoner of the Japanese 1942 -1945, I came across the above poem written by the British born Canadian Poet, Robert W Service. I found it to be very inspiring, certainly when the going was tough, as it often was. The lines of this poem virtually renewed my determination to survive. Maurice Rooney




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