How Did You Die?
Edmund Vance Cooke
Did you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?
You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there — that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight — and why?
And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die?
Who is Edmund Vance Cooke
Edmund Vance Cooke on June 5th 1866, in Port Dover, Ontario, Canada. His first job after leaving school was in a Sewing Machine Factory. In 1893 he left that job to earn a living as a poet, writer, and public speaker .
He published his first book of poems, A Patch of Pansies in 1894 and went on to publish a further 15 books of poetry and several books for children.
He married Lilith Castleberry in 1898 and they had five children.
He became a broadcaster on station, WWJ in Detroit broadcasting his poems live to thousands of listeners.
Cooke died in Cleveland, Ohio on December 18th 1932.
Check out some of Edmund Vance Cooke books