Edgar Albert Guest

20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England

His Philosophy

JIM had a quaint philosophy,
'It ain't fer you, it's jes' fer me,'
He used to say. 'I don't p'tend
T' force it onto foe or friend;
I don't advise or recommend
This way or that fer him nor you,
Or try t' tell you what t' do;
But I jes' take myself aside
An' teach him tricks he's never tried.

'I kinder take myself in hand
An' try t' make him understand
That he must do a full day's work,
An' ain't got time t' loaf an' shirk;
An' when he gets a load of care,
His shoulders are the ones t' bear
That burden, not his neighbors or
Some friend he might go running for.

'I try t' teach myself t' smile,
T' whistle every little while,
T' take whatever comes his way
As his just portion of th' day;
An' not complain an' fume an' frown,
An' vow th' world is runnin' down
An' ragged at th' heel becoz
Things ain't as pleasant as they was.

'Fer I've got all that I can do
T' keep myself in line; that's true.
It ain't fer me t' stand up now
An' try t' tell my neighbors how
They ought t' live, an' what t' do,
T' hold up all their faults t' view.
Reformin' others may be fine,
But somehow that ain't in my line.

'Yes, I've my own philosophy,
But it 's intended jes' fer me;
It's made t' keep myself in line,
T make me never show a sign
Of fear or cowardice when things
Go wrong or untold sorrow stings,
An' that is all that I can do —
You'll have t' say what's best fer you.'
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