2137 - Loyalty
These Poems of Loyalty are chosen, for the most part, as illustrating what true loyalty means, and as inspired by that spirit or influence which prepares for and conduces to true patriotism in the youth of any great nation or people. True loyalty is essentially a condition or mood of the soul. We must be first of all loyal to God, and to the highest and best ideals and instincts of our race, ere we are fit to be true patriots. To be really true to the present, we must be faithful both to the past and the future. That people is the greatest which draws its holiest ideals from the highest influences of the past, and founds upon these its chief hopes. Britain, in founding her ethics upon the Hebrew Scriptures and the wisdom and culture of ancient Greece, was supremely true both to the past and the future.
Thus, the loyalty of a great modern people to the revelation, spirit, and culture of a great ancient race, means the bearing onward of the divine torch of God's Spirit in humanity throughout the ages. This idea it is which sets the soul free from the mere common round of personal experience and the narrow egotisms of each single succeeding generation. The vast gulf between civilized man and the mere savage consists in this that the former lives in all history, while the latter exists only in his own ex perience. It is well to lay stress on the great race- memories and race-dreams as links to the divine. From these come influences which are conducive to reverence, veneration, knowledge, and a desire for the truth.
To fit character for patriotism, the first necessity is to inculcate the idea of responsibility. The sense of responsibility, together with the development of the greater and deeper imagination, is essential to true loyalty. We are all trustees . for the future, and we must be made to feel our great responsibility to God and man. British loyalty at its best is imbued with this large spirit. It is founded upon loyalty to God, race, flag, throne, constitution, and country. It teaches that service, not power, is the greatest thing that to serve well the race and the state is the supreme ideal.
(Do Prefácio de Wilfred Campbell, Poems of Loyalty, Ottawa, 1912)
© José Pacheco Pereira