(Poem #1641) Magna est Veritas
Here, in this little Bay, Full of tumultuous life and great repose, Where, twice a day, The purposeless, glad ocean comes and goes, Under high cliffs, and far from the huge town, I sit me down. For want of me the worlds course will not fail; When all its work is done, the lie shall rot; The truth is great, and shall prevail, When none cares whether it prevail or not.
(1823 - 1896) Note: The title is Latin, and means "Great is the Truth" Although today's poem touches upon several age-old themes, I don't think I've seen them combined in quite this way. I like the quiet, reflective tone of the poem, the image of a man sitting by the seashore contemplating his insignificance in the grand scheme of things, but comforted rather than otherwise by the thought. And the final two lines are unexpected and thought-provoking; the usual sentiment is that Truth shall prevail against a sea of lies, or against all efforts to quash it, or something similarly hostile. But as Patmore implicitly points out, indifference is often deadlier to a cause than any amount of opposition; the truth that shall prevail "when none cares whether it prevail or not" is great indeed. martin [Links] Biography: http://www.iath.virginia.edu/courses/ennc986/class/bios/patmore.html http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/patmore/bioov.html