Letter to the editor

DEAR EDITOR:

When I was in eighth grade at West Fulton High School in Atlanta, English teacher Miss Laura Byers had us memorize a poem I’ve never forgotten:

God, Give Us Men

God, give us men! A time like this demands

Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands,

Men whom the lust of office does not kill;

Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy:

Men who possess opinions and a will;

Men who have honor; men who will not lie; 

Men who can stand before a demagogue

and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!

Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog

in public duty and in private thinking;

For while the rabble sleeps, with thumb-worn creeds,

Their large professions and their little deeds,

Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,

Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.

Josiah G. Holland

This poem, applying to women as well as men, has come back to me many times through the decades. I hope it might give thought and courage to other readers now.