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    by Edgar A. Guest

    Can't is the worst word that's written or
        Doing more harm here than slander and lies;
    On it is many a strong spirit broken,
        And with it many a good purpose dies.
    It springs from the lips of the thoughtless each
        And robs us of courage we need through the
    It rings in our ears like a timely-sent warning
        And laughs when we falter and fall by the

    Can't is the father of feeble endeavor,
        The parent of terror and half-hearted work;
    It weakens the efforts of artisans clever,
        And makes of the toiler an indolent shirk.
    It poisons the soul of the man with a vision,
        It stifles in infancy many a plan;
    It greets honest toiling with open derision
        And mocks at the hopes and the dreams of a

    Can't is a word none should speak without
        To utter it should be a symbol of shame;
    Ambition and courage it daily is crushing;
        It blights a man's purpose and shortens his
    Despise it with all of your hatred of error;
        Refuse it the lodgment it seeks in your brain;
    Arm against it as a creature of terror,
        And all that you dream of you some day shall

    Can't is the word that is foe to ambition,
        An enemy ambushed to shatter your will;
    Its prey is forever the man with a mission
        And bows but to courage and patience and
    Hate it, with hatred that's deep and undying,
        For once it is welcomed 'twill break any
    Whatever the goal you are seeking, keep trying
        And answer this demon by saying: "I can."

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