I came across this great verse while reading the lastest Character Counts commentaries that I receive each Thursday in email. The verse is by Dale Wimbrow, and was written in 1934. (For more info, see his website.)
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
And see what that guy has to say.
For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife
Who judgment upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.
You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
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 heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.