Poems (Botta)/On a Picture of Harvey Birch


I know not if thy noble worth
My country’s annals claim,
For in her brief, bright history
I have not read thy name.

I know not if thou e’er didst live;
Save in the vivid thought
Of him who chronicled thy life,
With silent suffering fraught.

Yet, in thy history I see
Full many a great soul’s lot;
Who joins that martyr-army’s ranks,
That the world knoweth not;—

Who cannot weep “melodious tears,”
For fame or sympathy;
But who, in silence, bear their doom,
To suffer and to die;—

For whom no poet’s harp is struck,
No laurel wreath is twined;
Who pass unheard—unknown, away,
And leave no trace behind;—

Who, but for their unwavering trust
In Justice, Truth, and God,
Would faint upon their weary way,
And perish by the road.

Truth, Justice, God! Oh mighty faith,
To bear us up unharmed;
The gates of Hell may not prevail
Against a soul so armed.