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The Hero

Ziphen Central – Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

鈥淲ho is the hero?鈥 The old soldier鈥檚 face
Lit with a flush, and gleamed his sunken eye,
鈥淭he hero is the man who does his duty,
And fears not to die.
Where rolls the drum and shrieks the shell,
And men press on where men have fell;
Where red blood from the bayonet streams,
Where whistling bullets cleave the air鈥
The hero is found there.鈥

鈥淲ho is the hero?鈥 The gallant tar,
Bronzed by long voyages the world around,
Gave answer: 鈥淥n the sinking ship
The hero may be found.
When inky blackness veils the face of heaven,
When upon hidden rocks the ship is driven,
When through the broken spars the roaring gale
Thunders, and men鈥檚 hearts within them fail鈥
No hope from land or sea or earth or sky鈥
There does the hero die.

鈥淲ho is the hero?鈥 The man of God,
Whose silver locks proclaim his many years,
Whose pen was dipped in inspiration鈥檚 fount,
Answers (his voice comes to our ears):
鈥淕reater than he who falls amid the battle鈥檚 din
Or scales the walls, conquering the foe within,
Or, lion-hearted, breasts the foaming wave,
Giving his life the feebler souls to save,
Is he who conquers his own sinful heart,
And, ruling it, acts the true hero鈥檚 part.鈥

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