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I am trying to understand what the poet means when he says:

"if you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue

or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch ..."

what does virtue stand for here? do you have any appropriate synonym in mind?

Thanks.
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Kipling?

I'm afraid it would mean something like, "superiority." I can't think of a better one right now.

He's comparing opposites, kings vs commoners. Don't get uppity just because you know the king; don't let the rabble drag you down to their level - but be able to keep your balance while dealing with both extremes.
As I understand it, virtue in this text means a nobleness, dignity, purity (and all the highly appreciated features of a human) as comparing to rabble. It does not mean to be a kind of superiority in the meaning of primacy or dominance.
Btw. IF is a great poem, wish I could always live that way...
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Hi Lawyee,

Can you pick a single synonym that fits the line?

Best regards, - A.
Let me try Avangi
Anatbs"if you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue

or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch ..."
"if you can live in conditions that poor people do and nevertheless stay noble in your heart and behaviour,
or be surrounded by high-society but still be modest as one who know he's worth as much as other people are."

You see Avangi, I tried but it is double as long as the original... yep, I understand why Kipling got that Nobel PrizeEmotion: smile This is one of my favourite poems
AvangiHi Lawyee,

Can you pick a single synonym that fits the line?

Best regards, - A.
Ah, I read your message once again and realized that maybe you wanted a single word, rather than two linesEmotion: surprise OK, then it's nobleness - but in the meaning presented above
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I think "nobleness" is too grand a word, and that Kipling's "virtue" is the right one. It carries the meaning that the person is untouched by the unimportant things in life.
Thanks Lawyee & Feebs
My pleasureEmotion: smile
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