TWO SIDES OF THE MEDAL
"I WILL into the world, I will make me a name,
I will fight for truth, I will fight for fame,
I will win pure love, and when I die
The world shall praise me, worthily."
He entered the world he fought for fame ;
They twined him the thorny wreath of shame.
I met him once more full suddenly;
His face was seamed with misery.
"Have you fought for truth? Have you worked in vain?
Have you gained pure love without a stain?
Is your name yet great? Will it ever be?
Are you praised of all men, worthily?"
He did not answer he did not speak,
But waited awhile with a reddened cheek,
Then, trembling, faltering, and looking down
Good heavens, he asked me for half a crown!
Rudyard Kipling - 1881