All worthies are not sung in song.
That live their lives and do their deeds
Where wounded nature writhes and bleeds
Beneath the savage blows of wrong;
From humble duties tender grown,
The truest heroes are unknown.
The heart that toils where none may know
And uncomplaining conquers care,
To save his loved ones or to spare
His fellows from the pangs of woe,
Is more the hero than who shields
His country on the bleeding fields.
He claims no praises for his love,
He seeks no tribute for his worth,
But sows the desert hearts of earth
With blossoms from the vales above;
And in their sunshine warm and bright
He holds these duties as his right.
Where lives are dark with dismal groans
Great men are often chained by fate,
And oft are slaves more truly great
Than princes on their purple thrones;
But servant brows are bound with shame,
While monarchs flutter into fame.
Deeds pure and noble, gladly done,
Unselfish work for sickly souls
When sorrow in black surges rolls
And gloomy darkness hides the sun,--
These in their truth make more the man
Than royal aim or princely plan.
But sometime man shall rule by thought,
And worth shall gain her just return,
Till all shall every singer spurn
Who in the ancient cycles taught
That heroes rest in royal graves,
But never in the tombs of slaves.