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What Is Noble?
by [?]

WHAT is noble? to inherit
Wealth, estate, and proud degree?
There must be some other merit,
Higher yet than these for me.
Something greater far must enter
Into life’s majestic span;
Fitted to create and centre
True nobility in man!

What is noble? ’tis the finer
Portion of our mind and heart:
Linked to something still diviner
Than mere language can impart;
Ever prompting–ever seeing
Some improvement yet to plan;
To uplift our fellow-being–
And like man to feel for man!

What is noble? is the sabre
Nobler than the humble spade?
There’s a dignity in labour
Truer than e’er Pomp arrayed!
He who seeks the mind’s improvement
Aids the world–in aiding mind!
Every great, commanding movement
Serves not one–but all mankind.

O’er the Forge’s heat and ashes–
O’er the Engine’s iron head–
Where the rapid Shuttle flashes,
And the Spindle whirls its thread;
There is Labour lowly tending
Each requirement of the hour;
There is genius still extending
Science–and its world of power!