All whom this land hath bred,
Through peril onward led,
Free, of undaunted mood,
Still lavish of their blood,
With soul untaught to yield,
Rending each chain!
To such the bloody field,
Brings glorious gain.
High he soars,—mark, upward gazing,—
And to us not small doth seem:
Victor-like, in harness blazing,
As of steel and brass the gleam!
Not on moat or wall relying,
On himself let each one rest!
Firmest stronghold, all defying,
Ever is man’s iron breast!
Dwell for aye unconquered would ye?
Arm, by no vain dreams beguiled!
Amazons your women should be,
And a hero every child!
O hallowed Poesie,
Heavenward still soareth she!
Shine on, thou brightest star,
Farther and still more far!
Yet us she still doth cheer;
Even her voice to hear,
Joyful we are.
Child no more; a stripling bearing
Arms appears, with valor fraught
Leagued with the strong, the free, the daring,
In soul already who hath wrought.
There where glory may be sought.
HELENA and FAUST
Scarcely summoned to life’s gladness,
Scarcely given to day’s bright gleam,
Downward now to pain and sadness
Wouldst thou rush, from heights supreme!
Are then we
Naught to thee?
Is our gracious bond a dream?
Hark! What thunders seaward rattle,
Echoing from vale to vale!
’Mid dust and foam, in shock of battle,
Throng on throng, to grief and bale!
And the command
Is, firm to stand;
Death to face, nor ever quail.
HELENA, FAUST, and CHORUS
Oh what horror! Hast thou told it!
Is then death for thee decreed?
From afar shall I behold it?
No! I’ll share the care and need!
HELENA, FAUST and CHORUS
Rashness to peril brings,
And deadly fate!
Yet—see a pair of wings
Thither—I must, I must—
Grudge not my flight!
[He casts himself into the air; his garments support him for a moment; his head flames, a trail of light follows him.]
Oh woeful sight!
(A beautiful youth falls at the parents’ feet; we imagine that in the dead we recognize a well-known form; yet suddenly the corporeal part vanishes; the aureole rises like a comet to heaven; dress, mantle, and lyre remain lying on the ground.)