Should you ask me, whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
Why these mediocre totems,
Why these saintly men are worshipped,
Why are such small achievements noted,
Why these men and not the others?

I should answer, I should tell you,
Of their secret lives and torments,
Of their success and their failures,
How it is that they are famous,
How it is that we remember
All their frailties and failures,
All their little peccadilloes.

I should answer, I should tell you,
But it would make little difference,
But you would not understand the moreso,
Would not know why they are different,
Why they lived and are remembered.
Why we live and will be nothing,
Will be mouldering in our coffins,
Tried our best but are forgotten?

with apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow