That leap of heart whereby a people rise
Up to a noble anger’s height,
And, flamed on by the Fates, not shrink, but grow more bright,
That swift validity in noble veins,
Of choosing danger and disdaining shame, 320
Of being set on flame
By the pure fire that flies all contact base,
But wraps its chosen with angelic might,
These are imperishable gains,
Sure as the sun, medicinal as light, 325
These hold great futures in their lusty reins
And certify to earth a new imperial race.
Who now shall sneer?
Who dare again to say we trace
Our lines to a plebeian race? 330
Roundhead and Cavalier!
Dumb are those names erewhile in battle loud;
Dream-footed as the shadow of a cloud,
They flit across the ear:
That is best blood that hath most iron in ’t. 335
To edge resolve with, pouring without stint
For what makes manhood dear.
Tell us not of Plantagenets,
Hapsburgs, and Guelfs, whose thin bloods crawl
Down from some victor in a border-brawl! 340
How poor their outworn coronets,
Matched with one leaf of that plain civic wreath
Our brave for honor’s blazon shall bequeath,
Through whose desert a rescued Nation sets
Her heel on treason, and the trumpet hears 345
Shout victory, tingling Europe’s sullen ears
With vain resentments and more vain regrets!
in anger, not in pride,
Pure from passion’s mixture rude,
Ever to base earth allied, 350
But with far-heard gratitude,
Still with heart and voice renewed,
To heroes living and dear martyrs dead,
The strain should close that consecrates our brave.
Lift the heart and lift the head! 355
Lofty be its mood and grave,
Not without a martial ring,
Not without a prouder tread
And a peal of exultation:
Little right has he to sing 360
Through whose heart in such an hour
Beats no march of conscious power,
Sweeps no tumult of elation!
’Tis no Man we celebrate,
By his country’s victories great, 365
A hero half, and half the whim of Fate,
But the pith and marrow of a Nation
Drawing force from all her men,
Highest, humblest, weakest, all,
For her time of need, and then 370
Pulsing it again through them,
Till the basest can no longer cower,
Feeling his soul spring up