A Choice

by Edgar Albert Guest

Edgar Albert Guest

Rather win a brother's smile
Than a stack of dollar notes,
Rather do one thing worth while
Than have all the nation's votes;
Rather tread the simple way
Where the sweet wild roses are
Than to dress in glad array
And be prince or king or czar.
Somehow, when I sum it up,
I would rather be a friend
Than by force snatch vict'ry's cup
And be hated in the end.
I would rather leave behind
Tender gentle thoughts of me
Than have those who follow find
Stains upon my memory.
Rather do the simple things,
Rather play a lowly part
Than to win the praise of kings
And be cold and hard of heart.
I would rather fail to be
Rich or famous on the earth,
Rather dwell in poverty
If my deeds will tell my worth.
Rather feel a brother's hand
Clasped in mine, as friendship's vow
Than in pomp and pride to stand
With a crown upon my brow.
Rather have one find me true
Than have thousands call me great
And despise the things I do,
Turning from me in their hate.

Last updated January 14, 2019