“Don’t Quit” poem

–My Father wrote this famous poem

It appeared far and wide on posters, bookmarks, etc. as “author unknown.”


In memory of Lawrence J. Wilcox (1940-2010)

It became so popular so fast, that there was no way of correcting this, and truly, Dad was elated just knowing it was helping so many people. With his passing, it is time to let it be known that he wrote it. I actually read this poem before I was re-united with Dad (at age 19), after which time we became very close. He had submitted the poem to a publisher, who never responded, but later used it. From that he learned and shared with me a clever way to protect your work: mail yourself a copy and keep it sealed because it will be date stamped by the post office. Many people have claimed to write this poem. Hopefully, we will locate his sealed envelope, and that it is in inside.

With love Dad, and thanks. Like all things–and you–I will keep going.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

–Lawrence J. Wilcox (1940-2010), Ottawa ON