The Character of the Happy Warrior
<Warning: This post may contain concepts that some people may find antiquated, hokey and moralizing. Reader discretion is advised.>
The “Happy Warrior” was an ideal to which people once aspired.
It referred to a person who displayed virtuous personal traits. It was a person who fought hard for a good cause, but fought fair and was selfless. The individual in question lived his or her life by a code of honor.
Not too many people in the political arena can measure up to this standard today. In fact, the last guy in New York so dubbed was Al Smith, governor of New York back in the 20s.
Maybe it is just not possible to live up to such an ideal today – not when our politics are so cut-throat.
Still, it seems wrong not to even try.
With that in mind, we are urging combatants gearing up for the coming political battles in Albany to read and reflect upon the following excerpts from a Wordsworth poem, which gave rise to the concept:
Who is the Happy Warrior? Who is he
That every man in arms should wish to be?
<It is> he whose law is reason; who depends
Upon that law as on the best of friends…
<It is he> Who, if he rise to station of command,
Rises by open means; and there will stand
On honourable terms, or else retire…
<It is he> Who comprehends his trust, and to the same
Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim…
<It is he, who,> therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state…
<It is he> Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth
Forever, and to noble deeds give birth,
Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame,
And leave a dead unprofitable name—
Finds comfort in himself and in his cause…