Works in the Herald 1933

Yesterday's cables announce the death of John Galsworthy, the famous English novelist, playwright and philosopher.

Not for vague honors, not for treacherous power
   He lived and toiled thro' this, his earthy span;
But to uphold and cultivate the dower,
   God-given, for enlightment of man,
Here was no tale of talents mis-applied,
But of gifts to the last hour multiplied.
Grave, kindly scrivener, moved to no swift wrath
   By tyrannies or Greed's condoning pleas:
Pity was there for Vandal and for Goth
   Clutching insensate at earth's vanities.
Pity was there, with truth and justice, when
He held his shining mirror up to men.
That they might see themselves; not as they seem
   To smug content and sleek complacency
Lulled by the opiate of their false dream;
   But as some wise, kind visitant might see
And weigh and, by wise standards, judge the worth
Of all the sad frailities of earth.
So he has lived; and so he lays him down
   Leaving a picture with us at the end,
Not of some grim reformer's fretful frown;
   But of a pitying, understanding friend.
And if, thro' him, this blundering world should gain
One mite in wisdom, life were not in vain.

Herald, 2 February 1933, p8

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005