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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 in the eye; 
I don't want to stand, with the setting sun, 
And hate myself for things I have done.


I don't want to keep on a 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 person 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. 

By: Edgar A. Guest   All rights reserved.  Updated: Sun, 18-Dec-2005
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