The churl in spirit, up or down
      Along the scale of ranks, thro' all,
      To him who grasps a golden ball,
By blood a king, at heart a clown;

The churl in spirit, howe'er he veil
      His want in forms for fashion's sake,
      Will let his coltish nature break
At seasons thro' the gilded pale:

For who can always act? but he,
      To whom a thousand memories call,
      Not being less but more than all
The gentleness he seem'd to be,

Best seem'd the thing he was, and join'd
      Each office of the social hour
      To noble manners, as the flower
And native growth of noble mind;

Nor ever narrowness or spite,
      Or villain fancy fleeting by,
      Drew in the expression of an eye,
Where God and Nature met in light;

And thus he bore without abuse
      The grand old name of gentleman,
      Defamed by every charlatan,
And soil'd with all ignoble use.

Last modified 19 February 2010