Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/236

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232 Southern Historical Society Papers.

The great world lay before him,

For he was in his youth, With love of life young hearts are rife.

But better he loved truth. He fought for his convictions,

And when he stood at bay He would not flinch nor stir one inch

From honor's narrow way.

They offered life and freedom

If he would speak the word; In silent pride he gazed aside

As- one who had not heard. They argued, pleaded, threatened

It was but wasted breath, " Let come what must, I keep my trust,"

He said and laughed at death.

He would not sell his manhood

To purchase priceless hope; Where kings cast down a name and crown

He dignified a rope. Ah, grave! where was your triumph ?

And death! where was your sting? He showed you how a man could bow

To doom and stay a king.

And God, who loves the loyal

Because they are like him, I doubt not yet that soul shall set

Among his cherubim. Oh, Southland! fling your laurels:

And add your wreath, Oh, North! Let glory claim the hero's name,

And tell the world his worth.

The bronze head of Sam Davis was one of the most admired works of art in the Parthenon of the Tennessee Centennial.

This bust, executed by Julian Zolling, represents a nobly formed head; the boyish face conveySj an impression of courage, strength and sweetness. Many visitors were attracted to this bit of bronze; singularly enough, many of them had never before heard of Sam Davis and his tragic death. Here is the story:

In 1863 General Bragg sent a number of picked men, as scouts, among them Sam Davis, into Middle Tennessee in order to gain in- formation concerning the Federal army; he wished to know if the Union army was re-enforcing Chattanooga. The men were to go