previous next

[131] If to the master's plea he gave
     The vast contempt his manhood felt,
He saw a brother in the slave,—
     With man as equal man he dealt.

Proud was he? If his presence kept
     Its grandeur wheresoe'er he trod,
As if from Plutarch's gallery stepped
     The hero and the demigod,

None failed, at least, to reach his ear,
     Nor want nor woe appealed in vain;
The homesick soldier knew his cheer,
     And blessed him from his ward of pain.

Safely his dearest friends may own
     The slight defects he never hid,
The surface-blemish in the stone
     Of the tall, stately pyramid.

Suffice it that he never brought
     His conscience to the public mart;
But lived himself the truth he taught,
     White-souled, clean-handed, pure of heart.

What if he felt the natural pride
     Of power in noble use, too true
With thin humilities to hide
     The work he did, the lore he knew?

Was he not just? Was any wronged
     By that assured self-estimate?
He took but what to him belonged,
     Unenvious of another's state.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: