IN youth he braved a monarch's ire
To set the people's poet free;
Then gave his life, his fame, his fire
To the long praise of liberty.
His life, his fame, his all he gave
That not on earth should live one slave;
True freedom of the soul he sought
And in that battle well he fought.
He fought, and yet he loved not war,
But looked and labored for the day
When the loud cannon silent are
And holy peace alone hath sway.
Ah, what a life! From youth to age
Keeping the faith, in noble rage.
Ah, what a life! From knightly youth
Servant and champion of the truth.
Not once, in all his length of days
That falchion flashed for paltry ends;
So wise, so pure, his words and ways,
Even those he conquered rose his friends,
For went no rancor with the blow;
The wrong, and not the man, his foe.
He smote not meanly, not in wrath;
That truth might speed he cleaved a path.
The lure of place he well could scorn
Who knew a mightier joy and fate; —
The passion of the hope forlorn,
The luxury of being great;
The deep content of souls serene
Who gain or lose with equal mien;
Defeat his spirit not subdued,
Nor victory marred his noble mood.