The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5 (August 1, 1934)
The Great Unsung
The Great Unsung.
The truly Great can never grate
Or juggle with their fellows' fate;
Their thoughts are high enough, but mellow,
And aim to help the lesser fellow.
Of greatness there are sundry kinds.
But chiefly two concern our minds—
The Great whose greatness Fame has sown,
And those who're great but lesser known.
These lesser Great perhaps can claim
The privilege of greater fame
Because, unsung by bard or poet,
They're great because they never know it.
The common folk who, day by day,
Just do their jobs and pay their way
The widowed “char” whose job is done
Before the East presents the sun,
The man who got a scurvy deal
From Fate, and yet declines to squeal;
The sick who carry on; the sticker;
The “game,” the gay, the anti-kicker;
The jester who can raise a quip
When Luck has given him the slip;
The “failure” who has tried and lost
But doesn't stop to count the cost;
The old and battered —laid aside—
Who've kept their courage and their pride,
They're here and there and everywhere,
The people who defy despair—
The great unsung, the common Great
Of whom no future scribe will prate;
The Little-big, the Fate-defying,
Who fight and lose and keep on trying;
The great who never reach for Fame
Or know the meaning of the name,
The humble Great whose lives are writ
In simple words—“They did their bit.
Not that the heroes in homespun desire us to step on the sob-stuff. They take what they can when and where they can, if they can, and they “can” the cant if they can't. To such as these Fame means weighing their pay and paying their way.