The Best Portion of a Good Man’s Life

Tintern Abbey in 1794, a watercolour by J. M. W. Turner

On that best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.

The lines above are from a poem written by William Wordsworth. The complete title of the poem is Lines Written (or Composed) a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798. It is often abbreviated simply as “Tintern Abbey”. It was written after a walking tour with his sister near the Welsh Borders. It describes his encounters with the countryside on the banks of the River Wye and grows into an outline of his general philosophy.

The quote above says that the best thing in a man’s life is doing random acts of kindness and love, without necessarily getting noticed or rewarded, specially on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

If Wordsworth were alive today, I guess he wouldn’t be a fan of social media.

A portrait of William Wordsworth. This is apparently an 1873 reproduction of an 1839 watercolor by Margaret Gillies (1803-1887)

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