Sunday, September 23, 2012

Poem a Day XXIII

The Constancy of Virtue

The constancy of virtue, Fortune's wheel
cannot undo; like the axle-pole
around which all the heavens reel,
the star of north, which still and whole
will turn the world -- or else the rock
on which the earth is founded through its days,
the bedrock-base which is the dock
in which the world-ship harbors at the quay.

The constancy of virtue Fortune's wheel
will overturn; as Catherine's holy frame
unbroken by the wheel stood firm as steel
by power of the high undying Name:
against it Fortune's armies crash and fail,
a tide that, never ending, never wins;
against each breaker virtue will prevail,
each one's defeat set down as it begins.

The constancy of virtue, Fortune's wheel,
and all the world are governed by a law
that shall not falter, fade, or break its seal
until the True returns in day of awe:
no evil to the just will at the last accrue,
no goodness to the wicked shall endure
for evil is the seed of shame that rues
and virtue's constancy will keep the pure.

The constancy of virtue: Fortune's wheel,
O Prince, may spin, but you will never steal
a treasure half so fair, nor take away
from any peasant poor the strength of days!

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