Unsung Heroes

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For those who never found it too much trouble
   To help their fellow man — nor asked the price,
For those who wield their shovels in the rubble
   While scholars scoff at building paradise;
For those who fetch and carry for their neighbours,
   Or wash the sick or sit beside the frail,
For those who earn a pittance for their labours,
   But never play the martyred tattletale:

For those for whom a word of thanks suffices,
   Or deem that it was meant, if never said,
For those who run a mile from fame’s devices,
   And hide their medals underneath the bed;
For those who slave in worn out wards and clinics,
   Or work beside the nurses, hand in glove,
For those who pay no mind to whining cynics,
   Who know the worth, if not the price, of love:

For those who give their lives to teaching others,
   Yet never learn the meaning of conceit,
For those who treat the homeless as their brothers,
   For men who empty bins and sweep the street;
For volunteers who listen — but don’t lecture,
   For coppers who would rather wear no gun,
For juries who can cast aside conjecture
   And steel themselves to do what must be done:

For friends who keep their temper, yet stay candid,
    For citizens who stand up to the yobs,
For those who bring up children single-handed,
   For companies who tailor-make them jobs;
For those who blew the whistle as they hung us,
   For those who stood when you and I would fall,
For these, the unsung heroes here among us:
   Please raise your glass to bless them, one and all.