Before The Battle.

A poem by Thomas Moore

By the hope within us springing,
Herald of to-morrow's strife;
By that sun, whose light is bringing
Chains or freedom, death or life--
Oh! remember life can be
No charm for him, who lives not free!
Like the day-star in the wave,
Sinks a hero in his grave,
Midst the dew-fall of a nation's tears.

Happy is he o'er whose decline
The smiles of home may soothing shine
And light him down the steep of years:--
But oh, how blest they sink to rest,
Who close their eyes on victory's breast!

O'er his watch-fire's fading embers
Now the foeman's cheek turns white,
When his heart that field remembers,
Where we tamed his tyrant might.
Never let him bind again
A chain; like that we broke from then.
Hark! the horn of combat calls--
Ere the golden evening falls,
May we pledge that horn in triumph round![1]
Many a heart that now beats high,
In slumber cold at night shall lie,
Nor waken even at victory's sound--
But oh, how blest that hero's sleep,
O'er whom a wondering world shall weep!

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