Courage

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Edgar Guest

Courage isn't a brilliant dash, 
A daring deed in a moment's flash; 
It isn't an instantaneous thing 
Born of despair with a sudden spring 
It isn't a creature of flickered hope 
Or the final tug at a slipping rope; 
But it's something deep in the soul of man 
That is working always to serve some plan. 
  
Courage isn't the last resort 
In the work of life or the game of sport; 
It isn't a thing that a man can call 
At some future time when he's apt to fall; 
If he hasn't it now, he will have it not 
When the strain is great and the pace is hot. 
For who would strive for a distant goal 
Must always have courage within his soul. 
  
Courage isn't a dazzling light 
That flashes and passes away from sight; 
It's a slow, unwavering, ingrained trait 
With the patience to work and the strength to wait. 
It's part of a man when his skies are blue, 
It's part of him when he has work to do. 
  
The brave man never is freed of it. 
He has it when there is no need of it. 
Courage was never designed for show; 
It isn't a thing that can come and go; 
It's written in victory and defeat 
And every trial a man may meet. 
  
It's part of his hours, his days and his years, 
Back of his smiles and behind his tears. 
Courage is more than a daring deed: 
It's the breath of life and a strong man's creed.