Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however be humble;
it is a real possession in the changing of fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. 
Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less then the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you may conceive him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life
keep peace with your soul.

With all it's sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.


by Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) of Terre Haute, Indiana, 1927, 
and copyrighted in 1948 by his widow Betty.
Original in Latin in Old Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore. Dated 1692.

Betty Ehrmann placed a copyright on the translation to gain control over its distribution after his death.
In 1975 the Anglican Church won a lawsuit, which returned Desiderata to the public domain.


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