Monday, May 4, 2015

Still see that the sun gilds your path

An ethos of a different time, some of which we need to recapture.
The Honor Men
by James Hay, Jr., Class of 1903

The University of Virginia writes her highest degree on the souls of her
sons. The parchment page of scholarship—the colored ribbon of a society—
the jeweled emblem of a fraternity—the orange symbol of athletic prowess—
all these, a year hence, will be at the best the mementos of happy hours—
like the withered flower a woman presses between the pages of a book for
sentiment’s sake.
If you live a long, long time, and hold honesty of conscience
above honesty of purse;
And turn aside without ostentation to aid the weak;
And treasure ideals more than raw ambition;
And track no man to his undeserved hurt;
And pursue no woman to her tears;
And love the beauty of noble music and mist-veiled mountains
and blossoming valley and great monuments-
If you live a long time and, keeping the faith in all these things
hours by hour, still see that the sun gilds your path with real
gold and that the moon floats in dream silver;
Remembering the purple shadows of the lawn, the majesty of
the colonnades, and the dream of your youth, you may say
in your reverence and thankfulness:
“I have worn the honors of Honors.
I graduated from Virginia.”

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