Henry David Thoreau (12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)
Away! Away! Away! Away!
Away! away! away! away!
Ye have not kept your secret well,
I will abide that other day,
Those other lands ye tell.
Has time no leisure left for these,
The acts that ye rehearse?
Is not eternity a lease
For better deeds than verse?
‘Tis sweet to hear of heroes dead,
To know them still alive,
But sweeter if we earn their bread,
And in us they survive.
Our life should feed the springs of fame
With a perennial wave,
As ocean feeds the babbling founts
Which find it in their grave.
Ye skies dropp gently round my breast,
And be my corselet blue,
Ye earth receive my lance in rest,
My faithful charger you;
Ye stars my spear-heads in the sky,
My arrow-tips ye are;
I see the routed foemen fly,
My bright spears fixed are.
Give me an angel for a foe,
Fix now the place and time,
And straight to meet him I will go
Above the starry chime.
And with our clashing bucklers’ clang
The heavenly spears shall ring,
While bright the northern lights shall hang
Beside our tourneying.
And if she lose her champion true,
Tell Heaven not despair,
For I will be her champion new,
Her fame I will repair.
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