What is the tone and mood of the poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling?

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The famous poem "If—" by Rudyard Kipling was ostensibly written by the poet to his son John, but the tone of the poem is that of an authority figure in general instructing a person or persons under him on how to live a virtuous and honorable life.

Kipling received his inspiration for the poem from the life and actions of Leander Starr Jameson, who led a private army on a raid of Johannesburg in South Africa, then held by the Boers. The British government at first supported the raid but later, out of political expediency, condemned it. The raid failed miserably and Jameson received a prison sentence for his part in it. However, he refused to be broken by the experience and later returned to South Africa and became Prime Minster of the British Cape Colony.

The mood of the poem is inspirational. Drawing on the example of Jameson's courage, Kipling provides advice on how to overcome adversity in the face of doubts, delays, lies, losses, and exhaustion. The poet advises his son (and the other...

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