<poem> Whom shall we honour? Kings on thrones all golden,
With crowns of orient pearls, and Tyrian robe,
Heirs of the might of generations olden,
Stretching their sceptre over half the globe?
Whom shall we honour? Statesmen sage and hoary,
Wise to retain and wiser to reform,
Stirred by no thirst but that of life's true glory, Bold pilots through the darkness and the storm?
Whom shall we honour? Poets chanting sweetly
The lays of might that thrill a nation's heart,
High souls that do their Master's bidding meetly,
And on the mountain summits roam apart?
Nay, not these only: infants in their weakness,
Slaves in their galleys, prisoners in their cell;
Young girls that shrink and quail in maiden meekness,
Sick, poor, unknowing; — honour these as well.
Calm let the voice be, kind as angel's greeting;
Gentle the words, as one who fears to pain;
Reproach with pity, wrath with love still meeting,
Searching how best thy brother's soul to gain.
So spake true saints of God, and won men's favour;
So lived meek Paul, in pure and blameless guile;
Now with clear joy, and now in accents graver,
Rousing each conscience, winning each to smile.
So, subtly truthful, courteous, calm and gentle,
Drawing all hearts with cords of trust and love,
His true sons guarding with a love parental,
He moved, as bright stars through the darkness move.
So spake our Master, patient, meek, and lowly,
To way-worn travellers, Israel's wandering sheep;
He the All-pure, receiving men unholy,
Sharing their joys, and weeping as they weep.
Yea, doubt it not; each soul deserves that honour;
We may count none as common or unclean;
She beareth still the King's true stamp upon her;
Marred, half-effaced, His likeness still is seen.
Hushed be each word and thought of wrath and scorning;
Turn not away in weariness or pride;
When the light dawns of life's eternal morning,
The poorest, frailest, may be at thy side.
Yes, honour all; but keep thy heart's best loving,
For those true brothers, children of thy God,
On the same pathway, to the same goal moving,
The strait and narrow way our Master trod.
Love with a love that does not fail nor languish;
Enduring, zealous, hoping, helping all;
Quick to console all sorrow, soothe all anguish,
Still burning brightly though the thick night fall.