Example moves the world more than doctrine. The great exemplars are the poets of action, and it makes little difference whether they be forces for good or forces for evil
The Leaning Tower
by Robert William Service
Having an aged hate of height
I forced myself to climb the Tower,
Yet paused at every second flight
Because my heart is scant of power;
Then when I gained the sloping summit
Earthward I stared, straight as a plummet.
When like a phantom by my side
I saw a man cadaverous;
At first I fancied him a guide,
For dimly he addressed me thus:
"Sir, where you stand, Oh long ago!
There also stood Galilleo.
"Proud Master of a mighty mind,
he worshipped truth and knew not fear;
Aye, though in age his eyes were blind,
Till death his brain was crystal clear;
And here he communed with the stars,
Where now you park your motor cars.
"This Pisa was a pleasant place,
Beloved by poets in their prime;
Yonder our Shelly used to pace,
And Byron ottavas would rhyme.
Till Shelley, from this fair environ,
Scrammed to escape egregious Byron.
"And you who with the horde have come,
I hate your guts, I say with candour;
Your wife wears slacks, and you chew gum,
So I, the ghost of Savage Landor,
Beg you, step closer to the edge,
That I may push you o'er the ledge."
But back I shrank, sped down the stair,
And sought the Baptistry where God is;
For I had no desire, I swear,
To prove the law of falling bodies. . . .
You're right; when one's nigh eighty he's a
Damphool to climb the Tower of Pisa.