Poem: God Give Us Men!

An American Statesman — Senator Rand Paul

In honor of Senator Rand Paul (and his recent filibuster), here is an incredibly relevant poem that is a prayer for men who aren’t afraid to lead. There are several lines that stood out to me as readily observable characteristics of this man among boys in Washington, but I will leave the entire poem in original form, invite you to read it (it’s quite brief), and then comment and tell me which lines you saw that reminded you of something about this statesman.

God give us men! A time like this demands

Strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands;

Men who the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who have honor; men who will not lie;

Men who can stand before a demagogue

And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog

In public duty and in private thinking;

For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,

Their large professions and their little deeds,

Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,

Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

— Josiah Gilbert Holland

Brief, but powerful–and laden with commentary on our day, even though it was written over a hundred years ago.

Do you see any characteristics of Senator Rand Paul in this poem? Do you disagree with my classification of him as a statesman?


5 thoughts on “Poem: God Give Us Men!

  1. I like Rand Paul. Definitely 2016 material. My favorite phrase:

    Men who can stand before a demagogue

    And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

    I coined the term ‘conservatarian’ about myself and in my own mind and then googled to find, no surprise, others have thought of it too. I find myself reading and listening more often to libertarian ideas while I don’t wholly embrace them. I like that Rand Paul exercised his right to filibuster.

    1. Exactly! He ‘exercised his right,’ and look what happened…he got the whole world talking about the Constitution. For thirteen hours!!!

      I’m surprised there weren’t liberals dying of apoplexy.

  2. I think it’s accurate to call him a statesman, and that the “bipartisan” support he got from Americans supports that notion.

    Thank you for sharing the poem, I especially liked the final four lines.

    1. Thanks for the comment, johnalism! Glad you’re still with us.

      Yes! The final four lines are an exceedingly powerful call for patriots to lay aside squabbles over the little issues and focus on what’s important.

  3. The line that caught my attention is “And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking”. I’m currently about half way through an endeavor I undertook upon receiving a Kindell for Christmas. I’m reading “Gibbons’ Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire”. History is replete with winkers and liers who cause untold amounts of suffering in return fir a little personal gain. There were in fact a couple of winkers yucking it up at a black tie dinner with the President while Paul was Filibustering. Way to go!

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