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Short poem

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: 1903
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/20

Rhyme: abcbdd

Other poems by Edmund Vance Cooke