Patrick Regan has kindly shared the material from his George Heath site with readers of the Victorian Web, who may wish to consult the original.
I'd scorn to swell the toady rout,
Or bow before the gilded elf;
I laugh at Fate, and sing and shout,
"The man's the man he makes himself."
I strike my breast — its ring is sound;
I feel my wrists — they're shackle-free;
I look above, before, around,
And scoff the prate of Destiny.
I think my life — my nucleus lay,
And toil around it patiently;
The circle widens day by day;
The man's the man he wills to be!
No golden key, no magic door,
No royal road for any man;
All naked born, the rich, the poor,
The autocrat, the plebeian.
I have no patience for the sect
Who dream of crowns, and covet thrones,
Yet sit and murmur, and expect
The world to lay them stepping-stones.
I love the man who bears his thews,
And lifts his form erect and free,
Trusts his own strength, his path pursues,
And makes him what he wills to be.
Am I not strong and hardy-faced?
Hath he not given a harp to me,
A soul to love and feel; and placed
Within me my eternity?
Have I not feet to climb the stair?
A mind to think, a brain to plan?
Have I not hands to do and dare?
Shall I not stand distinct a man?
O yes! I'll live; not drift, not dream;
Fate, circumstance, my steeds shall be:
I'll mould each moment to my schemes,
Becoming that I fancy me.
I'll grasp the skirts of light, and link
A mortal to a heavenly goal;
Anoint my lips with truth, and drink
The universe into my soul;
I'll sow a stream of radiance there,
A moon-track on the wrestling seas;
My songs shall bow the hearts of men,
As tempest winds bow forest trees;
I'll lift my voice and send it far
Along thy shores, Eternity!
I'll bare my forehead — shine a star —
The man's the man he wills to be.
Last modified 3 September 2002