I, LOVING freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust;
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferred
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.
YET by all that we morally admire, we are practically bound. Human duties are not a mere picture gallery, in which we may loiter with our critic’s glass; or a histrionic stage whose representations may delight us while we sit still; but great and solemn realities, presented on a scene where every spectator practises, beneath the eye of heaven, the divine art which he beholds; where to discern an excellence is to receive a trust; and ideal admirations are the source of actual necessities.
A DUTY is no sooner divined than from that very moment it becomes binding upon us.
Henri F. Amiel