By: William Talley Elliot - with apologies to Rudyard Kipling, et al.

Source: The Bridge Player's Bedside Companion


The Bridge Player's Bedside Companion


If you can play your hand when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust your partner when he doubts you,
But make allowance for his doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting;
Or being set too much, don't blame your hand,

Or being baited don't give way to baiting,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too bland;

If you can play - and not make play your master;
If you can win - and not make gain your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:

If you can bear to hear the bids you've spoken
Twisted by Fate to make a trap for fools,

Or watch opponents win with each rule broken,
And deal and play and still abide the rules;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk ft on a Grand Slam bid and lost,

And smile, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can Force your partner and he passes,
Or deny, and see him still bid high,

And see the score the other side amasses,
And do not criticize or even sigh;

If you can play with fools and still continue
To calmly watch your partner wreck his play,

If adverse bids and Overcalls don't irk you,
If it's always something pleasant that you say:

If you can fill the unforgiven minute
With sixty seconds worth of fair play done,


Yours is the deck and everything that's in it,
And which is more - you'll be a freak, my son!