Hero And Leander
Both robb'd of air, we both lie in one ground ;
Both whom one fire had burnt, one water drown'd
by John Donne.
Healfast, Healfast, Ye Hero Wounds
''Healfast, healfast, ye hero wounds;
O knight, be quickly strong!
For fame and life,
Oh, tarry not too long!''
CARELESSLY over the plain away,
Where by the boldest man no path
Cut before thee thou canst discern,
Make for thyself a path!
Silence, loved one, my heart!
Cracking, let it not break!
Breaking, break not with thee!
There were many who went in huddled procession,
They knew not whither;
But, at any rate, success or calamity
Would attend all in equality.
There was one who sought a new road.
He went into direful thickets,
And ultimately he died thus, alone;
But they said he had courage.
by Stephen Crane.
Supposing That I Should Have The Courage
Supposing that I should have the courage
To let a red sword of virtue
Plunge into my heart,
Letting to the weeds of the ground
My sinful blood,
What can you offer me?
A gardened castle?
A flowery kingdom?
What? A hope?
Then hence with your red sword of virtue.
by Stephen Crane.
To A Certain Cantatrice
HERE, take this gift!
I was reserving it for some hero, speaker, or General,
One who should serve the good old cause, the great Idea, the progress
and freedom of the race;
Some brave confronter of despots--some daring rebel;
--But I see that what I was reserving, belongs to you just as much as
by Walt Whitman.
Ruby wine is drunk by knaves,
Sugar spends to fatten slaves,
Rose and vine-leaf deck buffoons;
Thunder-clouds are Jove's festoons,
Drooping oft in wreaths of dread,
Lightning-knotted round his head;
The hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head-winds right for royal sails.
Give me a spirit that on this life's rough sea
Loves to have his sails filled with a lusty wind
Even till his sailyards tremble, his masts crack,
And his rapt ship runs on her side so low
That she drinks water, and her keel ploughs air;
There is no danger to a man that knows
What life and death is, - there is no law
Exceeds his knowledge: neither is it lawful
That he should stoop to any other law.
by George Chapman.
Hero And Leander
It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-rul'd by fate.
hen two are stript long ere the course begin,
We wish that one should lose, the other win;
And one especially do we affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect:
The reason no man knows; let it suffice,
What we behold is censur'd by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight.
The Daring One
I would my soul were like the bird
That dares the vastness undeterred.
Look, where the bluebird on the bough
Breaks into rapture even now!
He sings, tip-top, the tossing elm
As tho he would a world o’erwhelm.
Indifferent to the void he rides
Upon the wind’s eternal tides.
He tosses gladly on the gale,
For well he knows he can not fail—
Knows if the bough breaks, still his wings
Will bear him upward while he sings!
by Edwin Markham.
There's courage involved if you want
to become truth.
There is a broken- open place in a lover.
Where are those qualities of bravery and
sharp compassion in this group? What's the
use of old and frozen thought?
I want a howling hurt. This is not a treasury
where gold is stored; this is for copper.
We alchemists look for talent that
can heat up and change.
Lukewarm won't do. Halfhearted holding back,
well-enough getting by? Not here.
The Last Hero
WE laid him to rest with tenderness;
Homeward we turned in the twilight’s gold;
We thought in ourselves with dumb distress—
All the story of earth is told.
A beautiful word at the last was said:
A great deep heart like the hearts of old
Went forth; and the speaker had lost the thread,
Or all the story of earth was told.
The dust hung over the pale dry ways
Dizzily fired with the twilight’s gold,
And a bitter remembrance blew in each face
How all the story of earth was told.
Eu temo muito o mar, o mar enorme,
Solene, enraivecido, turbulento,
Erguido em vagalhões, rugindo ao vento;
O mar sublime, o mar que nunca dorme.
Eu temo o largo mar, rebelde, informe,
De vítimas famélico, sedento,
E creio ouvir em cada seu lamento
Os ruídos dum túmulo disforme.
Contudo, num barquinho transparente,
No seu dorso feroz vou blasonar,
Tufada a vela e n'água quase assente,
E ouvindo muito ao perto o seu bramar,
Eu rindo, sem cuidados, simplesmente,
Escarro, com desdém, no grande mar!
by Cesário Verde.
He Is More Than A Hero
He is more than a hero
he is a god in my eyes--
the man who is allowed
to sit beside you -- he
who listens intimately
to the sweet murmur of
your voice, the enticing
laughter that makes my own
heart beat fast. If I meet
you suddenly, I can'
speak -- my tongue is broken;
a thin flame runs under
my skin; seeing nothing,
hearing only my own ears
drumming, I drip with sweat;
trembling shakes my body
and I turn paler than
dry grass. At such times
death isn't far from me
THERE are who, bending supple knees,
Live for no end except to please,
Rising to fame by mean degrees ;
But creep not thou with these.
They have their due reward ; they bend
Their lives to an unworthy end
On empty aims the pains expend
Which had knit close a friend.
But be not thou as these, whose mind
Is to the passing hour confined ;
Let no ignoble fetters bind
Thy soul, as free as wind.
Stand upright, speak thy thought, declare
The truth thou hast that all may share ;
Be bold, proclaim it everywhere:
They only live who dare.
by Sir Lewis Morris.
A face seen passing in a crowded street,
A voice heard singing music, large and free;
And from that moment life is changed, and we
Become of more heroic temper, meet
To freely ask and give, a man complete
Radiant because of faith, we dare to be
What Nature meant us. Brave idolatry
Which can conceive a hero! No deceit,
No knowledge taught by unrelenting years,
Can quench this fierce, untamable desire.
We know that what we long for once achieved
Will cease to satisfy. Be still our fears;
If what we worship fail us, still the fire
Burns on, and it is much to have believed.
by Amy Lowell.
The Martial Courage Of A Day Is Vain
THE martial courage of a day is vain,
An empty noise of death the battle's roar,
If vital hope be wanting to restore,
Or fortitude be wanting to sustain,
Armies or kingdoms. We have heard a strain
Of triumph, how the labouring Danube bore
A weight of hostile corses; drenched with gore
Were the wide fields, the hamlets heaped with slain.
Yet see (the mighty tumult overpast)
Austria a daughter of her Throne hath sold!
And her Tyrolean Champion we behold
Murdered, like one ashore by shipwreck cast,
Murdered without relief. Oh! blind as bold,
To think that such assurance can stand fast!
Doors Of Daring
The mountains that enfold the vale
With walls of granite, steep and high,
Invite the fearless foot to scale
Their stairway toward the sky.
The restless, deep, dividing sea
That flows and foams from shore to shore,
Calls to its sunburned chivalry,
"Push out, set sail, explore!"
And all the bars at which we fret,
That seem to prison and control,
Are but the doors of daring, set
Ajar before the soul.
Say not, "Too poor," but freely give;
Sigh not, "Too weak," but boldly try,
You never can begin to live
Until you dare to die.
by Henry Van Dyke.
Esther, A Sonnet Sequence: Xiii
A second warning, nor unheeded. Yet
The thought appealed to me as no strange thing,
Pure though I was, that love impure had set
Its seal on that fair woman in her Spring.
Her broken beauty did not mar her grace
In form or spirit. Nay, it rather moved.
It seemed a natural thing for that gay face
It should have known and suffered and been loved.
It kindled in me, too, to view it thus,
A mood of daring which was more than mine,
And made my shamefaced heart leap valorous,
And fired its courage to a zeal divine.
All this, in one short instant, as I gazed
Into her eyes, admiring, yet amazed.
Occasioned By The Battle Of Waterloo February 1816
INTREPID sons of Albion! not by you
Is life despised; ah no, the spacious earth
Ne'er saw a race who held, by right of birth,
So many objects to which love is due:
Ye slight not life--to God and Nature true;
But death, becoming death, is dearer far,
When duty bids you bleed in open war:
Hence hath your prowess quelled that impious crew.
Heroes!--for instant sacrifice prepared;
Yet filled with ardour and on triumph bent
'Mid direst shocks of mortal accident--
To you who fell, and you whom slaughter spared
To guard the fallen, and consummate the event,
Your Country rears this sacred Monument!
MAGIC for fitful souls whose aim is still
Pleasures that forfeit not the mansions blest,
Who deem themselves absolved to approve the best .
While they, protesting hate, pursue the ill;
Who lack strength to attain or else lack will
To keep what was their will's supreme behest;
Daring in dreams but fearful of the test
When Time and Fate their dearest wish fulfil.
I will not taste of thy pale anodyne;
I will not alter, listening to a voice
That tells me joys immortal may be mine
Were I but traitor to my clearest choice.
Courage I count above all gifts of thine
Courage or to refrain or to rejoice.
The dead are buried facing to the sun,
In foolish epitaphs their faith is told,
And yet they die without a victory won,
Leaving a world in folly growing old.
Now why should we among these futile graves
Proclaim the truth to dead or living dust,
Bow to the earth like overburdened slaves ?—
Re-born the freemen of a higher trust!
Have words a substance whereon light may shine ?
Can beauty glow upon a trembling sound ?
Can aught but deeds foreshadow the divine ?
Or save in symbols can the truth be found ?
Let no weak doubt defeat your eager hand;
For all must heed though few may understand.
by Peter McArthur.
A Revolutionary Hero
Old Joe is gone, who saw hot Percy goad
His slow artillery up the Concord road,
A tale which grew in wonder year by year;
As every time he told it, Joe drew near
To the main fight, till faded and grown gray,
The original scene to bolder tints gave way;
Then Joe had heard the foe's scared double-quick
Beat on stove drum with one uncaptured stick,
And, ere death came the lengthening tale to lop,
Himself had fired, and seen a red-coat drop;
Had Joe lived long enough, that scrambling fight
Had squared more nearly to his sense of right,
And vanquished Perry, to complete the tale,
Had hammered stone for life in Concord jail.
Leandro E Hero
O facho de Helesponto apaga o dia,
Sem que aos olhos de Hero o sono traga,
Que dentro de sua alma não se apaga
O fogo com que o facho se acendia.
Aflita o seu Leandro ao mar pedia,
Que abrandando por ela, a prece afaga,
E traz-lhe o morto amante numa vaga
(Talvez vaga de amor, inda que fria).
Ao vê-lo pasma, e clama num transporte —
"Leandro!... és morto?! ... Que destino infando
Te conduz aos meus braços desta sorte?!
Morreste!... mas... (e às ondas se arrojando,
Assim termina já sorvendo a morte)
by Laurindo Rabelo.
KLOPSTOCK would lead us away from Pindus; no longer for laurel
May we be eager--the homely acorn alone must content us;
Yet he himself his more-than-epic crusade is conducting
High on Golgotha's summit, that foreign gods he may honour!
Yet, on what hill he prefers, let him gather the angels together,
Suffer deserted disciples to weep o'er the grave of the just one:
There where a hero and saint hath died, where a bard breath'd his numbers,
Both for our life and our death an ensample of courage resplendent
And of the loftiest human worth to bequeath,--ev'ry nation
There will joyously kneel in devotion ecstatic, revering
Thorn and laurel garland, and all its charms and its tortures.
There is a courage, a majestic thing
That springs forth from the brow of pain, full-grown,
Minerva-like, and dares all dangers known,
And all the threatening future yet may bring;
Crowned with the helmet of great suffering;
Serene with that grand strength by martyrs shown,
When at the stake they die and make no moan,
And even as the flames leap up are heard to sing:
A courage so sublime and unafraid,
It wears its sorrows like a coat of mail;
And Fate, the archer, passes by dismayed,
Knowing his best barbed arrows needs must fail
To pierce a soul so armored and arrayed
That Death himself might look on it and quail.
Aristocrats: 'I Think I Am Becoming A God'
The noble horse with courage in his eye,
clean in the bone, looks up at a shellburst:
away fly the images of the shires
but he puts the pipe back in his mouth.
Peter was unfortunately killed by an 88;
it took his leg away, he died in the ambulance.
I saw him crawling on the sand, he said
It's most unfair, they've shot my foot off.
How can I live among this gentle
obsolescent breed of heroes, and not weep?
for they are fading into two legends
in which their stupidity and chivalry
are celebrated. Each, fool and hero, will be an immortal.
These plains were their cricket pitch
and in the mountains the tremendous drop fences
brought down some of the runners. Here then
under the stones and earth they dispose themselves,
I think with their famous unconcern.
It is not gunfire I hear, but a hunting horn.
by Keith Douglas.
Our efforts are those of the unfortunate;
our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
Somewhat we succeed; somewhat
we regain confidence; and we start
to have courage and high hopes.
But something always happens and stops us.
Achilles in the trench before us
emerges and with loud cries terrifies us.--
Our efforts are like those of the Trojans.
We believe that with resolution and daring
we will alter the blows of destiny,
and we stand outside to do battle.
But when the great crisis comes,
our daring and our resolution vanish;
our soul is agitated, paralyzed;
and we run around the walls
seeking to save ourselves in flight.
Nevertheless, our fall is certain. Above,
on the walls, the mourning has already begun.
The memories and the sentiments of our days weep.
Bitterly Priam and Hecuba weep for us.
Horatio, of ideal courage vain,
Was flourishing in air his father's cane,
And, as the fumes of valour swelled his pate,
Now thought himself this hero, and now that:
'And now,' he cried, 'I will Achilles be;
My sword I brandish; see, the Trojans flee.
Now I'll be Hector, when his angry blade
A lane through heaps of slaughtered Grecians made!
And now by deeds still braver I'll evince
I am no less than Edward the Black Prince.-
Give way, ye coward French-' As thus he spoke,
And aimed in fancy a sufficient stroke
To fix the fate of Cressy or Poictiers
(The Muse relates the hero's fate with tears);
He struck his milk-white hand against a nail,
Sees his own blood, and feels his courage fail.
Ah! where is now that boasted valour flown,
That in the tented field so late was shown!
Achilles weeps, Great Hector hangs the head,
And the Black Prince goes whimpering to bed.
by Charles Lamb.
He was so foolish, the poor lad,
He made superior people smile
Who knew not of the wings he had
Budding and growing all the while;
Nor that the laurel wreath was made
Already for his curly head.
Silly and childish in his ways;
They said: 'His future comes to naught.'
His future! In the dreadful days
When in a toil his feet were caught
He hacked his way to glory bright
Before his day went down in night.
He fretted wiser folk--small blame!
Such futile, feeble brains were his.
Now we doff hats to hear his name,
Ask pardon where his spirit is,
Because we never guessed him for
A hero in the disguise he wore.
It matters little how we live
So long as we may greatly die.
Fashioned for great things, O forgive
Our dullness in the days gone by!
Now glory wraps you like a cloak
From us, and all such common folk.
by Katharine Tynan.
Not like a daring, bold, aggressive boy,
Is inspiration, eager to pursue,
But rather like a maiden, fond, yet coy,
Who gives herself to him who best doth woo.
Once she may smile, or thrice, thy soul to fire,
In passing by, but when she turns her face,
Thou must persist and seek her with desire,
If thou wouldst win the favor of her grace.
And if, like some winged bird she cleaves the air,
And leaves thee spent and stricken on the earth,
Still must thou strive to follow even there,
That she may know thy valor and thy worth.
Then shall she come unveiling all her charms,
Giving thee joy for pain, and smiles for tears;
Then shalt thou clasp her with possessing arms,
The while she murmurs music in thine ears.
But ere her kiss has faded from thy cheek,
She shall flee from thee over hill and glade,
So must thou seek and ever seek and seek
For each new conquest of this phantom maid.
We love the spot where Valor bled
In the days of other years;
Where some young hero bowed his head
Whom memory endears.
We venerate the mound where lie
Some aged veteran's bones;
Though naught denotes his victory
But rude unsculptured stones.
Say not the Revolution's age
In memory has no place:
Because the present has its page,
The former to efface !
Old soldiers, those who yet remain,
Oh ! guard with tenderest care;
Remembering that they sowed the seed
That made*us what we are.
Prop up those withered oaks that stand,
Memorials of the past:
They tell and point, with trembling hand,
Where Liberty was cast;
Tell where the hero Washington
With his compatriots trod ;
Where many a dauntless warrior's soul
Passed up from strife to God.
Then let our grateful homage prove
Our true fidelity,
To those whose valor, honor, love,
Were pledged to make us free.
by Kate Harrington.
After The Battle
MY father, hero of benignant mien,
On horseback visited the gory scene,
After the battle as the evening fell,
And took with him a trooper loved right well,
Because of bravery and presence bold.
The field was covered with the dead, all cold,
And shades of night were deepening : came a sound,
Feeble and hoarse, from something on the ground ;
It was a Spaniard of the vanquished force,
Who dragged himself with pain beside their course.
Wounded and bleeding, livid and half dead,
'Give me to drink - in pity, drink!' he said.
My father, touched, stretched to his follower now
A flask of rum that from his saddle-bow
Hung down : 'The poor soul - give him drink,' said he
But while the trooper prompt, obediently
Stooped towards the other, he of Moorish race
Pointed a pistol at my father's face,
And with a savage oath the trigger drew :
The hat flew off, a bullet passing through.
As swerved his charger in a backward stride,
'Give him to drink the same,' my father cried.
Indrajit the son of Ravan then his lofty purpose told,
'Midst the best and boldest Rakshas none so gallant, none so bold:
'Wherefore, noble king and father, pale Bibhishan's counsel hear,
Scion of the race of Rakshas speaks not thus in dastard fear,
In this race of valiant Rakshas, known for deeds of glory done,
Feeble-hearted, faint in courage, save Bibhishan, there is none!
Matched with meanest of the Rakshas what are sons of mortal men,
What are homeless human brothers hiding in the hermit's den,
Shall we yield to weary wand'rers, driven from their distant home,
Chased from throne and father's kingdom in the desert woods to roam?
Lord of sky and nether region, INDRA 'neath my weapon fell,
Pale Immortals know my valour and my warlike deeds can tell,
INDRA'S tusker, huge Airavat, by my prowess overthrown,
Trumpeted its anguished accents, shaking sky and earth with groan,
Mighty Gods and dauntless Daityas fame of Indrajit may know,
And he yields not, king and father, to a homeless human foe!'
Give All To Love
Give all to love;
Obey thy heart;
Friends, kindred, days,
Plans, credit, and the Muse,-
'Tis a brave master;
Let it have scope:
Follow it utterly,
Hope beyond hope:
High and more high
It dives into noon,
With wing unspent,
But it is a god,
Knows its own path,
And the outlets of the sky.
It was not for the mean;
It requireth courage stout,
Souls above doubt,
It will reward,-
They shall return
More than they were,
And ever ascending.
Leave all for love;
Yet, hear me, yet,
One word more thy heart behoved,
One pulse more of firm endeavor,-
Keep thee today,
Free as an Arab
Of thy beloved.
Cling with life to the maid;
But when the surprise,
First vague shadow of surmise
Flits across her bosom young
Of a joy apart from thee,
Free be she, fancy-free;
Nor thou detain her vesture's hem,
Nor the palest rose she flung
From her summer diadem.
Why do you strike up songs military
Fife-like, o, bullfinch, my friend?
Who'll take the lead in our fight with Hell's forces?
Who will command us? What Hercules?
Where is Suvorov, strong, swift and fearless?
Now Northern thunder lies dead in the grave.
Who will ride fiery, ahead of the legions,
Nag for a steed, and crusts for meal,
Temper his sword in the heat and in ice storms,
Sleep on straw pallets, labor 'til dawn,
Bring down the armies, the walls and the forts
With but a handful of stout Russian men?
Who will excel in unwavering courage,
Conquering fate with a prayer and with faith,
Evil with bayonets, envy with jests?
Capturing scepters, remaining a slave,
Who will keep striving for valor alone,
Live for our Tsars, while consuming himself?
Glorious heroes like this one are gone now
Bullfinch cease singing your songs military!
Music of war brings us no more enjoyment.
Sad laments everywhere sound from the lyres:
Heart of a lion and wings of an eagle
Now and forever gone-how will we fight?
Washington's Monument, February, 1885
Ah, not this marble, dead and cold:
Far from its base and shaft expanding—the round zones circling,
Thou, Washington, art all the world's, the continents' entire—
not yours alone, America,
Europe's as well, in every part, castle of lord or laborer's cot,
Or frozen North, or sultry South—the African's—the Arab's in
Old Asia's there with venerable smile, seated amid her ruins;
(Greets the antique the hero new? ‘tis but the same—the heir
legitimate, continued ever,
The indomitable heart and arm—proofs of the never-broken
Courage, alertness, patience, faith, the same—e'en in defeat
defeated not, the same:)
Wherever sails a ship, or house is built on land, or day or night,
Through teeming cities' streets, indoors or out, factories or farms,
Now, or to come, or past—where patriot wills existed or exist,
Wherever Freedom, pois'd by Toleration, sway'd by Law,
Stands or is rising thy true monument.
by Walt Whitman.
Hint From The Mountains For Certain Political Pretenders
'WHO but hails the sight with pleasure
When the wings of genius rise,
Their ability to measure
With great enterprise;
But in man was ne'er such daring
As yon Hawk exhibits, pairing
His brave spirit with the war in
The stormy skies!
'Mark him, how his power he uses,
Lays it by, at will resumes!
Mark, ere for his haunt he chooses
Clouds and utter glooms!
There, he wheels in downward mazes;
Sunward now his flight he raises,
Catches fire, as seems, and blazes
With uninjured plumes!'--
'Stranger, 'tis no act of courage
Which aloft thou dost discern;
No bold 'bird' gone forth to forage
'Mid the tempest stern;
But such mockery as the nations
See, when public perturbations
Lift men from their native stations
Like yon TUFT OF FERN;
'Such it is; the aspiring creature
Soaring on undaunted wing,
(So you fancied) is by nature
A dull helpless thing,
Dry and withered, light and yellow;--
'That' to be the tempest's fellow!
Wait--and you shall see how hollow
A True Hero
JAMES BRAIDWOOD: Died June 22, 1861.
NOT at the battle front,--writ of in story;
Not on the blazing wreck steering to glory;
Not while in martyr-pangs soul and flesh sever,
Died he--this Hero new; hero forever.
No pomp poetic crowned, no forms enchained him,
No friends applauding watched, no foes arraigned him:
Death found him there, without grandeur or beauty,
Only an honest man doing his duty:
Just a God-fearing man, simple and lowly,
Constant at kirk and hearth, kindly as holy:
Death found--and touched him with finger in flying:--
Lo! he rose up complete--hero undying.
Now, all men mourn for him, lovingly raise him
Up from his life obscure, chronicle, praise him;
Tell his last act, done midst peril appalling,
And the last word of cheer from his lips falling;
Follow in multitudes to his grave's portal;
Leave him there, buried in honor immortal.
So many a Hero walks unseen beside us,
Till comes the supreme stroke sent to divide us.
Then the LORD calls His own,--like this man, even,
Carried, Elijah-like, fire-winged, to heaven.
THE alert and valiant faith that could respond,
Upon life's threshold, to the highest call,
Unquestioning of what might lie beyond,—
Courage afield and courtesy in hall,
And sweet, unbroken patience therewithal,
And simple loyalty,— can these things be
The virtues that have died with chivalry?
The lapsing stream that leads to love and fate,
Now mystic-shadowed, and now broad and free,
Reflecting all the gold of heaven's gate;
The snowy bird's symbolic purity,
The toilsome contest and the victory,
The troubled joy of life, and after these,
The crowning guerdon of the perfect peace,—
These dreams have filled my dazzled sense and brain,
With images so vivid that at last
I wake to life and find them all again
Repeated in the present as the past,
The hues recolored and the forms recast;
And in familiar eyes I see outshine
The old heroic faith in love divine.
No empty fable of a day long dead,
No baseless vision of some sanguine saint,
No legend, only half rememberéd,
Of prowess obsolete and virtues quaint;
But be this rather a reflection faint
Of that which taught me how the near and real
Surpass in strength and beauty the ideal.
by Emma Lazarus.