So soon I have addressed our men once more,
Thou, Crockett, wilt conduct them hence, while I
Confer a while with Bowie yet and Smith.
[Turning to the men, who fall into order, he addresses them:]
The hour has dawned on us, my faithful comrades.
When we must stride to our last earthly task.
Our walls have sunk that spread their shielding arms
Around this sanctuary of Liberty.
Shall then her sacred fane lie ope and bare
To the profaning hand of Tyranny?
No, no! as we have sworn, so let our lives
Be Freedom's bulwark. Freedom's forteress
Whose fosse our opened veins shall fill with blood,
Whose circling ramparts shall our bodies link,
Whose garrison shall be our fearless hearts.
Yet ere we leave this hallowed chapel-shrine,
Whose walls alone have heard our vows and prayers,
Whose eyes alone have seen our gallant deeds,
Let us embody with its time-worn shrine
The record of our joyful sacrifice,
Of our devotion to the cause we cherish,—
Yet not by writ or perishable stones,
Or any signs, that may the hand of Time
Efface or crumble; Immortality
Can only be adorned by things spiritual.
As longest in our memory abides