av Rudyard Kipling.

Oil sketch of a young boy, av Abbott Handerson Thayer.

Diktet If— er, ved siden av Jungelboken, sannsynligvis den teksten folk fobinder sterkest med Rudyard Kipling .

I en spørreundersøkelse foretatt av den britiske avisen The Independent i 1995 ble If— stemt frem som det engelske folkets favorittdikt (med stor margin) og dets hyppige gjengivning i alt fra motivasjonsvideoer, til drama-serier, til The Johnny Carson Show, sier noe om dets suksess og innflytelse i populærkulturen.

Selv om diktet sannsynligvis ble skrevet flere år tidligere, ble det først utgitt i 1910. Det er naturlig å tenke at den paternalistiske fortellerstemmen er Rudyard selv, adressert til dikterens eneste sønn, John. John Kipling ble drept på Vestfronten bare 18 år gammel.

Forholdet mellom far og sønn er skildret i filmen My Boy Jack, med Daniel Radcliffe i hovedrollen.


If you can keep your head when all about you   

    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

    But make allowance for their doubting too;   

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   

    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

    And treat those two impostors just the same;   

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

    And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   

    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

    If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   

    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!