Skip to content

“Carry On!”

My poem of the week this week is a strong call to perseverance from Robert Service. Service is not a guide to theology but is at his best calling for us to live life to the fullest and not give up.

“Carry On!”

It’s easy to fight when everything’s right,

And you’re mad with thrill and the glory;

It’s easy to cheer when victory’s near,

And wallow in fields that are gory.

It’s a different song when everything’s wrong,

When you’re feeling infernally mortal;

When it’s ten against one, and hope there is none,

Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:


      Carry on! Carry on!

   There isn’t much punch in your blow.

You are glaring and staring and hitting out blind;

You are muddy and bloody, but never you mind.

      Carry on! Carry on!

   You haven’t the ghost of a show.

It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath,

       Carry on, my son! Carry on!


And so in the strife of the battle of life

It’s easy to fight when you’re winning;

It’s easy to slave, and starve and be brave,

When the dawn of success is beginning.

But the man who can meet despair and defeat

With a cheer, there’s the man of God’s choosing;

The man who can fight to Heaven’s own height

Is the man who can fight when he’s losing.


      Carry on! Carry on!

   Things never were looming so black.

But show that you haven’t a cowardly streak,

And though you’re unlucky you never are weak.

      Carry on! Carry on!

   Brace up for another attack.

It’s looking like hell, but – you never tell.

      Carry on, old man! Carry on!


There are some who drift out in the desert of doubt

And some who in brutishness wallow;

There are others, I know, who in piety go

Because of a Heaven to follow.

But to labor with zest, and to give of your best,

For the sweetness and joy of the giving;

To help folks along with a hand and a song;

Why, there’s the real sunshine of living.


      Carry on! Carry on!

   Fight the good fight and true;

Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;

There’s big work to do, and that’s why you are here.

      Carry on! Carry on!

   Let the world be the better for you;

And at last when you die, let this be your cry!

      Carry on, my soul! Carry on!

Leave a Reply