Edmund Vance Cooke (1866-1932)
Don't Take Your Troubles to Bed
1You may labor your fill, friend of mine, if you will;
2 You may worry a bit, if you must;
3You may treat your affairs as a series of cares,
4 You may live on a scrap and a crust;
5But when the day's done, put it out of your head;
6Don't take your troubles to bed.
7You may batter your way through the thick of the fray,
8 You may sweat, you may swear, you may grunt;
9You may be a jack-fool if you must, but this rule
10 Should ever be kept at the front: --
11Don't fight with your pillow, but lay down your head
12And kick every worriment out of the bed.
13That friend or that foe (which he is, I don't know),
14 Whose name we have spoken as Death,
15Hovers close to your side, while you run or you ride,
16 And he envies the warmth of your breath;
17But he turns him away, with a shake of his head,
18When he finds that you don't take your troubles to bed.
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services,
University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Impertinent Poems (New York: Dodge, 1907): 22. LE C7727imp Robarts Library
First publication date:
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/20
Other poems by Edmund Vance Cooke