He was beaten from the start,

Beaten by his doubting heart,

And he had a ready ear

For the busy tongue of fear,

And he had a timid mind

Unto fretfulness inclined,

Filled with many reasons why

It was vain for him to try.

Given a task he’d shake his head,

“Can’t do that!” he often said,

“Times are hard and none will stay,

Listening to the words I say.

It is futile now to try,

People simply will not buy!”

Thus he walked the streets of trade,

Both discouraged and afraid.

 

But another kind of man

Thought this way: “Perhaps I can!

If I will supply the pluck,

Fortune may provide the luck.

If I have the grit to try,

There are people who may buy;

Anyhow, I’ll not submit

To defeat before I’m hit.”

 

One was beaten from the start,

Beaten by his doubting heart,

Beaten when he gave his ear

To the busy tongue of fear.

But another with his chance

Seized the moment to advance,

And came happy home at night

Just because he dared to fight.

(Edgar A. Guest)

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