And smites them with his passion's sceptred staff?
Or is it he, who, like a vernal sun,
Emerges from the dawn of human kind,
And, rising higher, clears away the vapors
Of prejudice and error that oppress it,
By his example's genial warmth and light;
And when at last he sets, forever leaves
His radiant mem'ry's blissful evening-glow
Upon the sky of human history?
These are chimeras; strength and force alone
Improve mankind; what higher names than those
Of Alexander, Caesar and Napoleon?
There is one higher still, the name of one
Who steadfast, hopeful in the greatest trials,
Achieved his country's freedom by his sword,
And having sheathed it, rendered up his power
In spite of tempting offers and requests,
But never ceased by sacrificing service
And true advice to found his country's welfare:
The first in War—in Peace—and in the hearts
Of all his countrymen—George Washington.
[Stammering with embarrassment,]
George Washington!—Ha, ha!—George Washington!
He is—he was—[Abruptly] Cos, answer thou for me!