Who Can Judge a Man From Manners?

Who can judge a man from manners?
Who shall know him by his dress?
Paupers may be fit for princes,
Princes fit for something less.
Crumpled shirt and dirty jacket
May beclothe the golden ore
Of the deepest thought and feeling -
Satin vest could do no more.
There are springs of crystal nectar
Even swelling out of stone;
There are purple buds and golden,
Hidden, crushed, and overgrown.
God, who counts by souls, not dresses,
Loves and prospers you and me;
While he values thrones the highest
But as pebbles on the sea.

Man appraised above his fellows,
Oft forgets his fellows, then;
Masters - rulers - lords, remember
That your meanest hands are men!
Men of labor, men of feeling,
Men by thought and men by fame,
Claiming equal rights to sunshine
In a man's ennobling name.
There are foam-embroidered oceans,
There are little wood-clad rills,
There are feeble inch-high saplings,
There are cedars on the hills.
God, who counts by souls, not stations,
Loves and prospers you and me,
For to him all vain distinctions
Are as pebbles on the sea.

Toiling hands alone are builders
Of a nation's wealth and fame;
Titled laziness is pensioned,
Fed and fattened on the same;
By the sweat of others' foreheads
Living only to rejoice,
While the poor man's outraged freedom
Vainly lifteth to its voice.
Truth and justice are eternal,
Born with loveliness and light;
Secret wrongs shall never prosper
While there is a sunny height.
God, whose heard voice is singing
Boundless love to you and me,
Sinks oppositions with its titles,
As the pebbles on the sea.

-- Anonymous






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