The one is sense, the other sound ;
Yet few things here on earth there be,
Which have so small affinity.
The vulgar herd, who seldom think,
At wordy cisterns always drink :
And found they will mistake for sense
When marked by wordy, great pretence.
But there are men of sober minds
With whom mere sound no favour finds,
And who distinguish truth and sense
From boisterous noisy confidence.
An empty cask will loudly sound,
The tramp is loud on hollow ground ;
And chattering jackdaw sound emits,
And geese will crackle loud by fits ;
A shallow brook will babble make ;
But sense is like the placid lake,
Or like those rivers deep and wide,
Which through fair fertile valleys glide ;
Or like the music if the breeze,
Which stirs the verdant leafy trees ;
Ye heroes of the gab, who prate,
How I your wordy nonsense hate !
Ye are so full of self, so vain,
Ye cannot see when ye give pain ;
Though fools applaud, the good and wise
A loose parade of words despise ;
And much prefer a modest man
Who stammers forth as best he can
His modicum of plain good sense,
Without your sound and vain pretence.
The Rev. Alexander Gordon
Reverend Gordon was the Congregational Minister at Bridge Street 1847-72