Monday, June 14, 2021

'Tis Fearless, Because Pure

True Valour
by John Holland

“If thou desire to be truly valiant, fear to do any injury: he that fears not to do evil, is always afraid to suffer evil; he that never fears, is desperate; and that always fears, is a coward. He is the true valiant man that dares nothing but what he may, and fears nothing but what he ought.”—Quarles.

Nay, tell me not a scoundrel can be brave;
Howe'er he seems to act a gallant part,
He bears a craven desperado’s heart,
Who is to lust of gold or flesh a slave:
All selfish sins the spirit will deprave;
And though the man may not at shadows start,
He feels in conscience, a deep rankling dart,
Keener than sword-wound. Thus doth not behave
True Valour's impulse, working in a breast
That knows no crime—that hides no motive base:
'Tis fearless, because pure; and therefore strong:
Daring or Reason, or Religion's test;
Humanity's ally in every place;
And shrinking but from death, when danger leads to wrong.