Since by strength
They measure all, of other excellence
Not emulous, nor care who them excels
Milton, Paradise Lost, Book VI, 820-822
Let me sing now of other excellence;
Not of strength in arms but goodness of heart,
Of charity that, wherever it may come is gentle,
And seems to all observers to be tantamount to love;
The highest love – not the mortal adoration that binds soul to lonely soul,
But the affection for humanity that marks the greatest hearts.
In goodness we find tranquility, resolute, resolved,
A composure that becomes a diamond tooth in the sea at the edge of the world,
The only stable anchor granted by that tide
Of the waterfall plummeting over the flat earth’s rugged side.
This I judge to be excellent, this I find worthy of praise;
May I strive to match that excellence until my final day.
The title quote comes from the Son of God declaring that he will meet with Satan in battle, since the demons only respect power. The poem ended up as praise for a person I am lucky enough to know, who has inspired me for some time with their incredible kindness.
Kind regards, and if you are said person, with love,
The Hapless Neo-Romantic