Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ACCOLADE, by HERBERT KAUFMAN

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THE ACCOLADE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Twist your frown to a smile
Last Line: "you won the good knight's accolade when you ""failed."
Subject(s): Knights & Knighthood; Praise

TWIST your frown to a smile,—
The game's still worth while!
It was no disgrace to have lost that last race.
Go back to the scratch again—right about face!
Get back to the match again—strike a new pace!
If you went down at sea with your flag flying free.
If you stood at the mast unafraid to the last,
Don't you know that you won?
If you kept self respect when your fortune was wrecked,
You still have a balance on life's books. Collect!
It's there to your credit. Go right out and get it!
What if you've been leered at and jeered at and sneered at?
It was better to fail than to justify jail,
Than to sell what no gentleman offers for sale.
It is n't a mark of esteem to be cheered at,—
So long as the world looks through glasses of gold,
So long as the wolves are in charge of the fold,
So long as the craftsman's ideals are sold,
So long as the state and the bench have their price,
So long as the monitor partners with vice.
If your choice was honor, 'twas not you who quailed—
You won the good Knight's accolade when you "failed."

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