“What I Would Be” by William Howe Cuyler Hosmer

What I Would Be.
By William Howe Cuyler Hosmer
From Later Lays and Lyrics by Hosmer, pg. 143

I.
What would I be? Not rich in gold
And with a narrow heart,
Or, misanthropic, stern and cold,
Dwell from my kind apart?
I would not be a man of war,
Who looks on death unmoved,
Give me a title dearer far:
“The well-beloved!”

II.
I would not wear a laurel crown,
Its leaves conceal the thorn;
Too oft the children of renown
Are friendless and forlorn.
Oh! let me lead a blameless life,
By young and old approved;
Called, in a world of sin and strife,
“The well beloved!”

III.
God grant me power to guard the weak,
And sorrow’s moaning hush,
And never feel upon my cheek
Dark Shame’s betraying blush;
And when at my creator’s call
From earth I am removed,
Let Friendship ‘broider on my pall:
“The well beloved!”