I wander through each chartered street,
Near where the chartered Thames does flow,
And mark in every face I meet marks of weakness, marks of woe.
In every cry of every man,
In every infant’s cry of fear, in every voice, in every ban,
The mind-forged manacles I hear how the chimney-sweeper’s cry
Every black’ning church appeals,
And the hapless soldier’s sigh runs in blood down palace walls.
But most through midnight streets
I hear how the youthful harlot’s curse
Blasts the new-born infant’s tear,
And blights with plagues the marriage hearse.
It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly;
who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”