The Soul's Quest and Other Poems

by Frederick George Scott


 

AN ODE


 

WHAT boots it to be great?
To live in royal state
   And feast with kings,
   Since now all things
      One doom await?
5
What boots it to be fair?
Sweet eyes and golden hair,
   And youthful bloom,
   Since in the tomb
      All foulness there?
10
To live in royal state—
That is not to be great;
   Sweet eyes and golden hair—
   That is not to be fair.

What is it to be great?

15
Content with thine estate;
   To serve thy God and King
   In everything—
      That is it to be great.

What is it to be fair?

20
Sweet modesty to wear;
   To keep thine honour sure,
   Thy bosom pure—
      That is it to be fair.
Much boots it to be great,
25
Much boots it to be fair.

London, 1883.