Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Scottish Poetry XXVII

Be a Man
by Robert Allan


Whatsoe'er thine earthly lot,
Be a man! be a man!
Foot it bravely; falter not;
Manlike let thy work be wrought.
Yea, with energy and thought
Round thy plan.

Does the world with thee go hard?
Still endure, still endure!
Not a jot of faith discard;
Equity and right regard;
And the eternal bright reward
Shall be sure.

Up! at every hazard be
A true soul, a true soul!
What of virtue is in thee
Keep thou that intact and free;
Yea, maintain reality
Sound and whole.

What and if thou canst not please
Men in place, men in place?
Better, like old Socrates,
Drink the hemlock to the lees,
Than regard opinion's breeze
And be base.

Thee bad triumphs would but bring
To thy fall, to thy fall;
Thou to-day might'st be a king,
One for whom loud paeans ring,
And to-morrow a base thing
Scorn'd by all.

See what Time to thee, Time's heir,
Has brought down, has brought down
High example, knowledge fair—
All in thee rich fruit to bear;
All to make thee nobly wear
Manhood's crown!

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