A Starry Night at Arué

THESE my beliefs, in eight and twenty lines:
That men are nobler than their actions show;
That ‘Beauty is Truth’ defined and still defines
As much of ultimate truth as we shall know;
That ever-questing Science yet may bare
Much that is strange and new, and after all
Her farthest flights, that Man will stand and stare,
Awed and humbled, at the self-same wall
That hemmed him round when once he lived in trees;
That littleness makes still the happiest nation;
That states do wrong to emulate the bees
In industry, the ants in population;
That of men’s crimes against themselves, the latest,
Distance conquered, is among the greatest;
That Reason is a rock no more than Feeling
(Intuition is a safer guide);
That those who make a god of Reason, kneeling
Devout, are not the wholly sane, clear-eyed
Beings they fondly think; that cocks will crow
At dawn, as now, in twice ten thousand years,
Changelessness a changing world to show;
That men will still shed blood and women tears
As long as there are tears and blood to shed;
That joy has lunar months as well as grief.
When everything is said that can be said,
This is my sure, my very firm belief:
That life, to one born whole, is worth the living,
Well worth the taking, having, and the giving.
JAMES NORMAN HALL