July 6, 2013 by phicks2012
They say you should never mess with a Bard, and I’m pretty sure that the ubiquitous “they” have a very good point. Poets and song-writers have a way of addressing that sort of thing in verse, and sometimes very publicly. They don’t always call names — and lawyers all over the world would probably be enjoying multiple pleasure spasms at the very idea of that sort of directness — but they do usually manage to get the point across, whether as outright humor, or satire, or warning.
That having been said, there are a few valid reasons for failing, without warning or good reason, to keep your word. If you promise to do something and then have an accident on the way, or you fall suddenly ill with food poisoning, or you die, then you can hardly be expected to let anyone know in advance — or to line up someone else to fill in if the promise involves a group effort.
If, on the other hand, you make a promise and simply fail to show up for a planned event or obligation — or if you’re the sort of person who makes promises you never intend to keep simply to persuade/entice another person to work on a project, take a job, or commit to an undertaking — then others are going to stop trusting you, and wisely so.
Of course, those people rarely recognize themselves when they are targeted in verse, so those blessed few who inspired the poem below will doubtless lack the insight to do so. Nevertheless, for what it’s worth this is a poetic pot-shoot at people whose nature it is not to honor their promises, nor to keep their word. Politicians, Repair Technicians, Used Car Salesmen, and Shifty Contractors have to be included, of course. 😉
The word that is given should not be reclaimed,
Nor yet misremembered at will.
A promise dishonored leaves chivalry maimed,
And lies do not honor distill.
Assurances tendered should not me denied,
Nor at our convenience undone.
A vow that is broken or shouldered aside
Does honor and credit to none.
The bastions of honor should not be cast down
Nor artifice treasured as gold
For rarer than rubies are promises bound
By hearts that true honor uphold.
The careless of honor we see every day,
And some to high station have claim,
But promises tarnished cast honor away
Regardless of titles and fame.
And those disavowing one promise that’s made
Will cast aside others as well.
Assurance of favors should therefore be weighed.
Past deeds will the future foretell.
For those who foreswear will foreswear yet again,
And at their convenience forget
Avowance of friendship and promise of gain
Once their own agendas are met.
So honor your promises, children of truth,
And place not your faith in false fame,
For verity honors the dreams of our youth
And hubris dishonors the same.
10 June, 2012