The Better Thing
It is better to lose with a conscience clean than to win by a trick unfair;
It is better to fail and to know you’ve been, Whatever the prize was, square, than to claim the joy of a far-off goal And the cheers of the standers-by, and to know down deep in your inmost soul A cheat you must live and die.
Who wins by trick can take the prize, and at first he may think it sweet, But many a day in the future lies When he’ll wish he had met defeat.
For the man who lost shall be glad at heart and walk with his head up high. While his conqueror knows he must play the part of a cheat and a living lie.
The prize seems fair when the fight is on, but unless it is truly won You will hate the thing when the crowds are gone, For it stands for a false deed done.
And it’s better you never should reach your goal than ever success to buy At the price of knowing down in your soul That your glory is all a lie.