fundamentally changed my view of the world...Oft In My Thought
Ah, how often I have sought in my days,
To emulate the great leaders, and be gently led,
By their virtuous actions and well-laid plans.
How often I charted the best courses to take
To reach those heights of thought and action;
And thought evermore of what best will portray
Their everlasting influence on this humble self,
That will make this world to be as they always saw,
In their lofty wishes and their fanciful dreams.
But all those thoughts, alas, they too crumble and dry,
And serve no more the masters that send them forth,
Who are now but ashes or just food to now dead worms,
And so are their thoughts but food to a few blind men.
And this world that lets the best of it die,
And leaves not even a soul or a smile behind,
For what I should try, what lasting effect,
When in showing the virtues, I forget them more?
How to pass that time of the night,
When all too familiar shame shows its head:
Have you forgotten all your virtues,
It asks with the malevolent sweet smiles,
The dead might banish sins and conquer great heights,
But will the living learn, it sneers and slips away.
To what profit we move, to what end we sing,
Praises of these men, and put their faces in public places?
The most good, most fair and most just of men;
They no longer walk this realm, what omen there?
And when the young can no longer dare imagine
That their footsteps once hallowed these very ruins…
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