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A Year of Poetry – Day 360

“What is the real good?’
I asked in musing mood.

Order, said the law court;
Knowledge, said the school;
Truth, said the wise man;
Pleasure, said the fool;
Love, said the maiden;
Beauty, said the page;
Freedom, said the dreamer;
Home, said the sage;
Fame, said the soldier;
Equity, the seer;—

Spake my heart full sadly:
‘The answer is not here.’

Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
‘Each heart holds the secret:
Kindness is the word.’

— John Boyle O’Reilly, What is Good


  1. It’s kinda sad, but the best summation of how to behave as a human came from “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” At the end, one of them said “Be excellent to each other.” Pretty much sums it up, in terms that anyone could understand.

    Along with Keni Thomas, a warrior from The Battle of Mogadishu, (a’la Blackhawk Down) “Just do what you know is right.”


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