Well, say you the world is a chamber of sleep,
And life but a sleeping and dreaming?
Then I too would dream: and would joyously reap
The blooms of harmonious seeming;
The dream-flow'rs of hope and of freedom, perchance,
The rich are so merrily reaping;--
In Love's eyes I'd fancy the joy of romance;
No more would I dream Love is weeping.
Or say you the world is a banquet, a ball,
Where everyone goes who is able?
I too wish to sit like a lord in the hall
With savory share at the table.
I too can enjoy what is wholesome and good,
A morsel both dainty and healthy;
I have in my body the same sort of blood
That flows in the veins of the wealthy.
A garden you say is the world, where abound
The sweetest and loveliest roses?
Then would I, no leave asking, saunter around
And gather me handfuls of posies.
Of thorns I am sure I would make me no wreath;
(Of flowers I am very much fonder).
And with my beloved the bowers beneath
I'd wander, and wander, and wander.
But ah! if the world is a battlefield wild,
Where struggle the weak with the stronger,
Then heed I no storm and no wife and no child!--
I stand in abeyance no longer;--
Rush into the fire of the battle nor yield,
And fight for my perishing brother;
Well, if I am struck--I can die on the field;
Die gladly as well as another....