Monday, July 22, 2013

Quote of the day: on the value of the past and on different cultures

From Speech of Mr. Gladstone at Mold, 1873:
There is no greater folly circulating upon the earth at this moment, or at any other time, than the disposition to undervalue the Past, and to break those links which unite human beings of the present day with the generations that have passed away and been called to their account.

The above is taken from Selections from Old Kerry Records 1874 (Hickson, M. 2nd ed.), which contains a dedication poem by Thomas Davis:

What matter that at different shrines
We pray unto one God,
What matter that at different times
Our fathers won the sod,
In fortune and in name we're bound
By stronger links than steel,
And neither can be safe nor sound
But in the other's weal.

Here come the brown Phoenician,
The man of trade and toil,
Here come the proud Milesian
A hungering for spoil,
And the Firbolg and the Cymry,
And the hard enduring Dane,
And the iron lords of Normandy
With the Saxons in their train.

And oh! it were a gallant deed
To show before mankind
How every race and every creed
Might be by love combined,
Might be combined, nor yet forget
The fountains whence they rose,
As swelled by many a rivulet
The stately Shannon flows.

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