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By Charles Harpur

There is no gauge of worth
Or in fortune or in birth,
Nay, kingly state is only in itself a gilded rod;
But he who would not slight
For his life, the cause of Right,
Or choose, to gain a star, the path by splendid Evil trod,
Though he lack the power of gold,
And his robe be worn and old,
He—he is the true Noble—the Gentleman of God!

A man may live in state
With the wealthy and the great,
He may mingle with the gifted, and muster with the brave;
But if he acts a part
Unapproved by his own heart,
Or takes, though from a Monarch’s hand, what justice never gave;
Or is numbered with the throng
Who uphold a throned Wrong,
He’s a coward, he’s a traitor, a liar, and a slave!

We know that man is prone
To bow down to Power alone,
Or right or wrong, for Earth’s glooms will cloud an earthy wit;
But in his heart, though dark,
There yet glows a truthful spark—
His kin-spark with the Angel, for by heaven itself ‘twas lit;
And if still he keep the way
That is lightened by its ray,
On his high throne of Manhood a sun-born God might sit.

Then let the truth be known
Unto all, in every zone,
That kingly state is only in itself a gilded rod;
That he who acts a part
Unapproved by his own heart,
With villain foot is treading where true honor never trod!
While in him—the lowliest wight
Who is constant to the right,
There stands a very Noble—a Gentleman of God!

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