The Boy Robert


The stripling Robert, good and brave,
Holds in his hand a bare--drawn glaive,
And on the altar of the Lord,
He lays it with this earnest word:

``I swear to thee, O fatherland!
With naked sword in clench├Ęd hand,
On this thy consecrated shrine,
Still to the death to be sincerely thine.

``I swear with heart and mind to be
Thy honest servant, Liberty!
Body and soul, through all life's span,
For thou art the sublimest good of Man.

``I swear a bloody, burning, hate,
And scorn, whose depth can ne'er abate,
To Gallic guile and Gallic band,
That they may never shame our German land.

``And Thou, whose high coercing sway
Heaven's Suns and earthly hearts obey,
Thou mighty God! stand by my oath,
Be thou the guardian of my faithful troth.

``That I, from lie and treache'ry pure,
May be thy Lieger true and sure,--
And that this brand may never pause
In the high duty of a righteous cause.

``And if against my fatherland
And God I draw it, then this hand
Be dust, this arm be withered cold,
And be this hilt a hundred--weight to hold!''

Oh! no, oh! no, for ever no!
No caitiff thought will Robert know,--
To God the Lord this oath is given,
Honour and Virtue lighten him to heaven.

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