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The Hero - Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier

'O for a knight like Bayard,
Without reproach or fear;
My light glove on his casque of steel,
My love-knot on his spear!

'O for the white plume floating
Sad Zutphen's field above,
The lion heart in battle,
The woman's heart in love!

'O that man once more were manly,
Woman's pride, and not her scorn
That once more the pale young mother
Dared to boast `a man is born'!

'But, now life's slumberous current
No sun-bowed cascade wakes;
No tall, heroic manhood
The level dulness breaks.

'O for a knight like Bayard,
Without reproach or fear!
My light glove on his casque of steel
My love-knot on his spear!'

Then I said, my own heart throbbing
To the time her proud pulse beat,
'Life hath its regal natures yet,-
True, tender, brave, and sweet!

'Smile not, fair unbeliever!
One man, at least, I know,
Who might wear the crest of Bayard
Or Sydney's plume of snow.

'Once, when over purple mountains
Died away the Grecian sun,
And the far Cyllenian ranges
Paled and darkened, one by one,-

'Fell the Turk, a bolt of thunder,
Cleaving all the quiet sky,
And against his sharp steel lightnings
Stood the Suliote but to die.

'Woe for the weak and halting!
The crescent blazed behind
A curving line of sabres
Like fire before the wind!

'Last to fly, and first to rally,
Rode he of whom I speak,
When, groaning in his bridle path,
Sank down like a wounded Greek.

'With the rich Albanian costume
Wet with many a ghastly stain,
Gazing on earth and sky as one
Who might not gaze again!

'He looked forward to the mountains,
Back on foes that never spare,
Then flung him from his saddle,
And place the stranger there.

''Allah! hu!' Through flashing sabres,
Through a stormy hail of lead,
The good Thessalian charger
Up the slopes of olives sped.

'Hot spurred the turbaned riders;
He almost felt their breath,
Where a mountain stream rolled darkly down
Between the hills and death.

'One brave and manful struggle,-
He gained the solid land,
And the cover of the mountains,
And the carbines of his band!'

'It was very great and noble,'
Said the moist-eyed listener then,
'But one brave deed makes no hero;
Tell me what he since hath been!'

'Still a brave and generous manhood,
Still and honor without stain,
In the prison of the Kaiser,
By the barricades of Seine.

'But dream not helm and harness
The sign of valor true;
Peace bath higher tests of manhood
Than battle ever knew.

'Wouldst know him now? Behold him,
The Cadmus of the blind,
Giving the dumb lip language,
The idiot clay a mind.

'Walking his round of duty
Serenely day by day,
With the strong man's hand of labor
And childhood's heart of play.

'True as the knights of story,
Sir Lancelot and his peers,
Brave in his calm endurance
As they in tilt of spears.

'As waves in stillest waters,
As stars in noonday skies,
All that wakes to noble action
In his noon of calmness lies.

'Wherever outraged Nature
Asks word or action brave,
Wherever struggles labor,
Wherever groans a slave,-

'Wherever rise the peoples,
Wherever sinks a throne,
The throbbing heart of Freedom finds
An answer in his own.

'Knight of a better era,
Without reproach or fear!
Said I not well that Bayards
And Sidneys still are here?


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Poems About Hero

  1. 1. A Hero , Robert William Service
  2. 2. Hero And Leander , Christopher Marlowe
  3. 3. Hero , Siegfried Sassoon
  4. 4. He Is More Than A Hero , Sappho
  5. 5. Hero And Leander: The First Sestiad , Christopher Marlowe
  6. 6. My Hero Bares His Nerves , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. The Hero , Rabindranath Tagore
  8. 8. Hero And Leander , John Donne
  9. 9. The Last Hero , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  10. 10. 05 - A Hero , nicola burkett
  11. 11. The Poet As Hero , Siegfried Sassoon
  12. 12. The Hero , Siegfried Sassoon
  13. 13. My Hero , Nathan Kraft
  14. 14. Hero And Leander , Friedrich Schiller
  15. 15. Hero-Worship , Amy Lowell
  16. 16. "Mom's My Hero&Quot; , Beau Burkett
  17. 17. Hero And Leander: The Second Sestiad , Christopher Marlowe
  18. 18. My Hero , Tim Meister
  19. 19. The Hero Of Rorke's Drift , William Topaz McGonagall
  20. 20. My Hero , salsabila alkhatiry
  21. 21. Jackie Robinson…an American Hero , Stanley Cooper
  22. 22. A Hero , Katharine Tynan
  23. 23. General Grant -- The Hero Of The War , George Moses Horton
  24. 24. Hero In The Classroom , Susan T. Aparejo
  25. 25. He Died A Hero? , Cynthia BuhainBaello
  26. 26. Soldiers Who Wish To Be A Hero , Anonymous Americas
  27. 27. Superman My Hero , Aldo Kraas
  28. 28. A Hero Is One Who Falls Asleep With His .. , Wes Thompson
  29. 29. Soldiers Who Wish To Be A Hero , Anonymous
  30. 30. The Mind Inside My Hero , Ana Lia Zaldivar
  31. 31. The Hero Of Kalapore , William Topaz McGonagall
  32. 32. My Husband, My Soldier, My Hero, My Friend , Courtney Lane
  33. 33. Our Hero , Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  34. 34. Hero Stuff , Lonnie Hicks
  35. 35. Hero Worship , Robert William Service
  36. 36. The Hero And The Villain , Noel Lopez
  37. 37. General Gordon, The Hero Of Khartoum , William Topaz McGonagall
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  44. 44. Hero? , Mark R Slaughter
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  48. 48. Your Hero , Francis Duggan
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  50. 50. Hero And Leander. The Sixth Sestiad , George Chapman
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