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To Aurelio Saffi

To God and man be simply true:
Do as thou hast been wont to do:

Or, Of the old more in the new:
Mean all the same when said to you.

I love thee. Thou art calm and strong;
Firm in the right, mild to the wrong;
Thy heart, in every raging throng,
A chamber shut for prayer and song.

Defeat thou know'st not, canst not know;
Only thy aims so lofty go,
They need as long to root and grow
As any mountain swathed in snow.

Go on and prosper, holy friend.
I, weak and ignorant, would lend
A voice, thee, strong and wise, to send
Prospering onward, without end.


(1864)


George MacDonald