There Is No Common Man

On every side, in every land
For years it has been heard,
A tag with honest intent implied;
A much used common word
That is really meant to glorify
The plodding mass that daily spends
Its energies in peace or war;
And its ageless journey wends
O'er hill and dale to that dark shore,
Where the deep swift stream
That all must span
Awaits the soul that graced
The living clay of man!
How oft the ready phrase
Slips glibly from the tongue,
`The common man, the common people',
In general tributes of times sung
Man ...tagged by those who holding power
Or clothed by wealth and rank ...
Grouped in one common herd
And classified in manner frank
Yet in each unit of the whole
There lies that vital spark,
The light within the image
Of Him, who launched the human bark
Upon the waters of the earth
Gave strength to strive and eyes to scan
Creation's panoramic scene,
And called the pilot ...Man!

Not the `common man' of modern phrase
How'er well meant to be
Man in the likeness of his God
Is Man ...a noble entity
Pride of position, fame and wealth
Lifts many to higher earthly plane
Exalts them o'er their fellows
That oft with tolerant disdain
They speak of those beneath them
And praise with great Úlan
The struggle sacrifice and glory
Of the `common man'!

There is no `common people'
0No `common man' is found
All men are equal, flesh and blood
And ...outward bound!
To each the task of living
To all a destined place
Man's duty is to all men
Of every creed and race!
Living clay of God's creation
Fashioned on his master plan,
Born to rule the fruitful earth;
Unstable, struggling, wondering man!

Let us away with this misnomer
This stigma of the `common man'
Let us uphold the status
That with Time began
Worthy of our heritage
Ever faithful to our trust
Let us walk with honour
We of the Living Dust
And by the dignity of struggle
At our passing leave behind
The hall-mark of our exalted task'
In the pattern of mankind.

Whakatane, 1947


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