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201 - Tyrtaeus - And we will drain the lifeblood where we...

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OW glorious fall the valiant, sword in hand, In front of battle for their native land! But oh! what ills await the wretch that yields, A recreant outcast from his country's fields! The mother whom he loves shall quit her home, An aged father at his side shall roam; His little ones shall weeping with him go, And a young wife participate his woe; While scorned and scowled upon by every face, They pine for food, and beg from place to place. Stain of his breed! dishonoring manhood's form, All ills shall cleave to him: affliction's storm Shall blind him wandering in the vale of years, Till, lost to all but ignominous fears, He shall not blush to leave a recreant's name, And children, like himself, inured to shame. But we will combat for our fathers' land, And we will drain the lifeblood where we stand,
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Unformatted text preview: And we will drain the lifeblood where we stand, To save our children: -- fight ye side by side, And serried close, ye men of youthful pride, Disdaining fear, and deeming light the cost Of life itself in glorious battle lost. Leave not our sires to stem the unequal fight, Whose limbs are nerved no more with buoyant might; Nor, lagging backward, let the younger breast Permit the man of age (a sight unblest) To welter in the combat's foremost thrust, His hoary head disheveled in the dust, And venerable bosom bleeding bare. But youth's fair form, though fallen, is ever fair, And beautiful in death the boy appears, The hero boy, that dies in blooming years: In man's regret he lives, and woman's tears; More sacred than in life, and lovelier far, For having perished in the front of war....
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