3.—Though All Great Deeds—

Though all great deeds were proved but fables fine,1
Though earth’s old story could be told anew,2
Though the sweet fashions loved of them that sue3
Were empty as the ruined Delphian shrine4
Though God did never man, in words benign,5
With sense of His great Fatherhood endue,6
Though life immortal were a dream untrue,7
And He that promised it were not divine8
Though soul, though spirit were not, and all hope9
Reaching beyond the bourne, melted away ;10
Though virtue had no goal and good no scope,11
But both were doomed to end with this our clay12
Though all these were not,—to the ungraced heir13
Would this remain,—to live, as though they were.14