Good Luck And Bad

GOOD Luck is like a down hill tide
That helps to make an easy start,
Where one may paddle, drift or glide
Without much effort on his part;

But though it takes you to the goal
And brings you in the world's acclaim,
It builds no fibre for your soul
Nor molds you for the rougher game.

Bad Luck is like an uphill sweep,
The test of courage and of class,
Where troubles grow and shadows creep
And none except the valiant pass ;

Where through raw gales that blow but ill
The entry clings to this lone dream :
The stalwart only stalks the hill
The gamefish only swims up stream.

If your main wish is but to win
Let Good Luck help to pull you through,
To know the cheering and the din
That go where laurel sprigs are due ;

But if you wish to build a heart
That scorns the fickle whims of Fate,
Take Hard Luck for the journey's start
With rugged Trouble for a mate.

by Henry Grantland Rice

Comments (3)

Critics generally agree that Sonnet 133 addresses the complex relationship between the speaker and an unidentified woman. Josephine Roberts interprets the sonnet in that the poet expresses a “fractured sense of self” as a result of his toxic relationship with the dark lady. Her interpretation of the relationship as toxic is evident in the emotional plea that resounds throughout the sonnet. The sonnets prior to this address a young man referred to as a close friend of the speaker who is thus addressed as well in sonnet 133. According to critic A. L. Rowse, this sonnet gives the speaker's view of both his relation of the young man as his friend and the mistress. Rowse's interpretation is supported by how the sonnet clearly describes the pain the unknown woman has inflicted upon both the young man and the speaker, For that deep wound it gives my friend and me! [from Wikipedia]
In this sonnet the poet introduces a further complication in his entanglement with his mistress, for it appears that his friend, the beloved youth, has also fallen for her, and is totally engrossed by her sexual charms. The poet hopes to ease the situation by pleading that his own heart can stand surety for his friend, and that it is enough for one of them only to be imprisoned by her. But even as he expresses this wish, he realises that it is a vain one, and that his mistress will be as harsh and frivolous with the friend as she is with him. He therefore feels a triple loss, of his mistress, for the friend has taken her, of the friend, for she has taken him, and of himself, for he no longer controls his own feelings. This loss is further increased since each of the participants suffers in a similar way, or exercises destructive power in a threefold relationship. The situation described is possibly the same as that dealt with in sonnets 40-42. - - in shakespeares-sonnets.com -
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