The only amaranthine flower on earth
Is virtue; the only lasting treasure, truth.
But what is truth? 'twas Pilate's question put
To Truth itself, that deigned him no reply.
And wherefore will not God impart his light
To them that ask it ?--Freely—'tis his joy,
His glory, and his nature, to impart.
But to the proud, uncandid, infincere,
Or negligent, inquirer not a spark.
What's that, which brings contempt upon a book
And him who writes it, though the style be neat,
The method clear, and argument exact ?
That makes a minister in holy things
The joy of many, and the dread of more,
His name a theme for praise and for reproach? -
That, while it gives us worth in God's account,
Depreciates and undoes us in our own.
What pearl is it that rich men cannot buy,
That learning is too proud to gather up;
But which the poor, and the despised of all,
Seek and obtain, and often find unfought?
Tell memand I will tell thee what is truth.