On this day I complete
'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it hath
ceased to move:
Yet, though I cannot be beloved,
Still let me love!
My days arc in the yellow leaf;
The flowers and fruits
of Love are gone;
The worm, the canker, and the grief
Are mine alone!
The fire that on my bosom preys
Is lone as some volcanic
No torch is kindled as its blaze -
A funeral pile.
The hope, the fear, the Jealous care,
The extalted portion
of the pain
And power of love, I cannot share,
But wear the chain.
But 'Tis not thus - and 'tis not here
Such thoughts should
shake my soul, nor now
Where glory decks the hero's bier,
Or binds his brow.
The sword, the banner, and the field,
Glory and Greece, around
The Spartan; borne upon his shield,
Was not more free.
Awake! (not Greece - she is awake!)
Awake, my spirit; Think
Thy life-blood tracks its parent lake,
And then strike home!
Tread those reviving passions down,
Unworthy manhood; -
Indifferent should the smile or frown
Of Beauty be.
If thou regret'st thy youth, why live?
The land of honourable
Is here: - up to the field, and give
Away thy breath!
Seek out - less often sought than found -
A soldier's grave, for
thee the best;
Then look around, and choose thy ground,
And take thy rest.