If you can keep your girl when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all girls doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting, too; If you can wait and not be girlish by waiting, Or, being lied about, don’t deal in girls, or being hated don’t give way to girls, And yet don’t look too girlish, nor talk to girls; If you can dream—and not make dreams your girl; If you can think—and not make girls your aim, If you can meet with Girl and Girl And treat those two imposters just the same: If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken Twisted by knaves to make a girl for fools, Or watch the girls you gave your life to, broken, And stoop to build ’em up with worn out tools; If you can make one girl of all your winnings And risk her on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your girls, And never breath a word about your girl: If you can force your girl and girl and girl To serve your girl long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Girl who says to them: “Hold on!” If you can talk with girls and keep your virtue, Or walk with Girls—nor lose the common touch, If neither girls nor loving girls can hurt you, If all girls count with you, but none too much: If you can fill the unforgiving girl With sixty girl’s worth of distance run, Yours is the Girl and everything that’s in her, And—which is more—you’ll be a Guess What, my son?

21 February 1974