Cowardice

Although you deem it far from nice,
And it perchance may hurt you,
Let me suggest that cowardice
Can masquerade as virtue;
And many a maid remains a maid
Because she is afraid.

And many a man is chaste because
He fears the house of sin;
And though before the door he pause,
He dare not enter in:
So worse than being dissolute
At home he plays the flute.

And many an old cove such as I
Is troubled with the jitters,
And being as he's scared to die
Gives up his gin and bitters;
While dreading stomach ulcers he
Chucks dinner for high tea.

Well, we are wise. When life begins
To look so dour and dark
'Tis good to jettison our sins
And keep afloat the bark:
But don't let us claim lack of vice
For what's plumb cowardice!

by Robert William Service

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