True Greatness

There is a fire, that has its birth
Above the proudest hills of earth;
And higher than the eternal snows,
The fountain whence it rose.

It came to man in ancient days,
And fell upon his ardent gaze,
A god descending in his car,
The spirit of a star.

And as the glorious vision broke
Full on his eye, at once he woke,
And with the rush of battling steeds
He sprang to generous deeds.

Then first he stood erect and free,
And in the might of destiny
A stern, unconquerable fate
Compelled him to be great.

He strove not for the wreath of fame;
From Heaven the power that moved him came,
And welcome as the mountain air
The voice that bade him dare.

Onward he bore, and battled still
With a most firm, enduring will;
His only hope, to win and rise,
His only aim, the skies.

He saw their glories blaze afar;
A soul looked down from every star;
And from its eye of lightning flew
A glance, that thrilled him through.

Full in the front of war he stood;
His home, his country, claimed his blood:
Without one sigh that blood was given;
He only thought—of heaven.
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