My verse be summarized so forth in brief--
’Tis better to give love instead of hate;
’Tis better to build up than to tear down;
’Tis better to preserve instead of squander;
Better work earn than theft appropriate;
Better one’s ancestry accord renown,
Posterity to guide than leave to wander;
And every man must bear his share of grief.
This is the simple, if simplistic sum
To come forth from the verse that I have written;
Whereby one poem, so obviates the need
For all the rest—nor were mankind so smitten
With satisfying even unto greed
His last desire, nor this one had to come.
In that I lived and died, no need to note;
In that I loved and suffered, what of that?
In that I started young, and older grew,
Knew health and sickness both, still what of these?
In that I stood not too tall nor too fat,
Was neither short nor thin—what good it do?
In that my looks did not please or displease
Too many or too few, yet gets no gloat!
Such was my life, and duly summarized
It must incite the reader to a wonder
That ever I had cause to write at all;
Yet there was one, the substance to my thunder;
The ear to which I made heart’s slightest call;
For whom the slightest jot be not revised.