If… Coffee

If you can keep your coffee when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can drink coffee when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their drinking too;
If you can drink coffee and not be tired by drinking,
Or drink coffee, don’t deal in coffee,
Or drink coffee, don’t give way to coffee,
And yet don’t look like coffee, nor talk like coffee:


If you can drink - and not make coffee your master;
If you can drink - and not make coffee your aim;
If you can meet with coffee and coffee
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to see the coffee you’re drinking
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the coffee you gave your life to, broken,
and stoop and drink it up with worn out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your coffee

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 coffee;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To drink your coffee long after it is gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you,

Except the coffee which says to them: ‘Coffee!’


If you can talk with coffee and keep your virtue,

Or walk with coffee - nor lose the common touch,

If neither coffee nor lovely coffee can hurt you,

If all men drink coffee with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of coffee drunk,

Yours is the coffee and all that’s in it,

And - which is more - you’ll have drunk coffee, my son.


by Ruddyhard Kipples