Saturday, June 11, 2016

"God give us men whom the lust of office does not kill ... the lust of office cannot buy ..."

A prayer* penned by the New England poet, Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819 – 1881), more timely now than when it was written:
God give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men whom the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty, and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds
Their large professions and their little deeds.
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
*Erroneously attributed to "J.B. Holland" by the Scots-American pastor, Peter Marshall (1902-1949), Chaplain of the U.S. Senate during his tenure in Washington, D.C.