Oh say, what is truth?'Tis the fairest gemThat the riches of worlds can produceand priceless the valueof truth will be whenthe proud monarch's costliest diademis counted but dross and refuse.Yes, say, what is truth?'Tis the brightest prizeTo which mortals or Gods can aspireGo search in the depthswhere it glittering liesOr ascend in pursuit to the loftiest skies:'Tis an aim for the noblest desire.The sceptre may fall from the despot's graspWhen with winds of stern justice he copesBut the pillar of truthwill endure to the lastand its firm rooted bullwarks outstand the rude blastand the wreck of the fell tyrant's hopes.Then say, what is truth?'Tis the last and the firstFor the limits of time it steps o'erTho the heavens depart andthe earth's fountains burstTruth, the sum of existence will weather the worstEternal, Unchanged, Evermore.
- John Jaques, 1827-1900