The Standard of the Man

‘Tis true my form is something odd,
But blaming me is blaming God;
Could I create myself anew
I would not fail in pleasing you.

If I could reach from pole to pole
Or grasp the ocean with a span,
I would be measured by the soul;
The mind’s the standard of the man.
—poem used by Joseph Merrick (The Elephant Man ) to end his letters, adapted from “False Greatness” by Isaac Watts