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Myself

I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;

I don?t want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I?ve done.
I don?t want to keep on the closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,

And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of a man I really am;
I don?t want to dress up myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men?s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and pelf
I want to be able to like myself.

I don?t want to look at myself and know
That I?m bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;

I know what others may never know,
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.

Edgar Guest