What is Good

“What is the real good?” I asked in musing mood.
Order, said the law court;
Knowledge, said the school;
Truth, said the wise man;
Pleasure, said the fool;
Love, said the maiden;
Beauty, said the page;
Freedom, said the dreamer;
Home, said the sage;
Fame, said the soldier;
Equity, the seer.
Spake my heart full sadly:
“The answer is not here.”
Then within my bosom
Softly this I heard:
“Each heart holds the secret:
Kindness is the word.”

— John Boyle O’Reilly