The Last Song of the Greek Patriot

One last, best effort now!
They shall not call us slaves, —
These iron necks shall never bow
To barter for a hated life,
But we will tell, in mortal strife,
What wrath a freeman braves:
A few short years, and we have known
The pride and joy — to live alone.

Our ancient land was free;
We washed its stains in blood:
Again the hymn of Liberty
Rose from the high Athenian shrine,
And virgin hands did often twine,
In the dark olive wood,
Their garlands for the youthful brow
Who taught the heathen Turk to bow.

These have been glorious days:
Let come what will, our fame
Is like the sun's eternal blaze,
And when they tell of Marathon,
And all the fields our fathers won,
They too shall name
Bozzaris, and the few who died,
Victims of glory, by his side.

The world has told our doom, —
'T is liberty or death!
The tree we planted must not bloom,
For Turk and Christian — all unite,
And royal hands our sentence write,
And yet our breath,
When trampled by the ruffian herd,
Shall never breathe one recreant word.

If we must die, then die!
And let the foul disgrace
Cling to their names eternally,
Who, when they had the power to save,
Doomed to a dark and bloody grave
A high, devoted race.
Awhile the sweets of life to know,
O God, and then to perish so!

But freedom has one shore:
Would we could shelter there
The tender ones we value more
Than life or fame! O generous men!
Be with us, as ye long have been,
And we will share
All the poor fruit of toils and pains, —
Our hearts, our lives, perhaps our chains.

Come, at this fatal hour,
Ye last of high-born souls;
Come, when the crushing weight of power
Has all but bent our necks to earth;
We will not shame our glorious birth;
Nor Turk nor Hun controls
The heart that holds the Spartan fire,
The sacred relic of his sire.

We know ye cannot fear,
We know that ye are brave, —
To us, your very name is dear:
O, by that name, and all its light,
We bid ye join the murderous fight,
To win and save!
O, come, if it be only time
To fall with us, in death sublime!
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.