When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself.
For it isn’t a man’s father, mother or wife
Whose judgment upon him must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in his life,
Is the man staring back from the glass
He’s the fellow to please, never mind the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.
(This poem was found written on
the wall of a cell in death row)