Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh


IS there none to say, 'Twas well'? 
Shall not Fame their story tell, 
Why they fought, and why they fell? 
                   'Twas to be free! 

O! who would live a crouching slave, 
While yet this earth can give a grave? 
Who would not rather death than shame, 
While thinking on thine awful name, 

Small their number, high their pride, 
Great they lived, and nobly died, 
Friends and brothers, side by side, 
                   Within that pass: 

His barbarous hordes, and countless hosts 
The Persian brought from distant coasts; 
Like hunted deer those hosts were slain 
Before thine arm their might was vain, 

Curse on him who did betray 
Sparta's sons, and showed the way 
Where every hope of victory lay 
                   To Persia's bands! 

But Sparta's sons, a hero each, 
Did, on that day, a lesson teach 
How liberty in death is won, 
What deeds with Freedom's sword are done 
                   In freemen's hands! 

Circled by a sea of blood, 
Pressed by thousands, still they stood, 
Fighting, falling, unsubdued, 
                   Unconquered still. 

They scorned to breathe the breath of slaves, 
They fought for free and hallowed graves; 
And though they fell in glory's hour, 
The Persian overcame their power, 
                   But—-not their will! 

Let them rest—-nought could appal 
Those who armed at Honour's call: 
Fell they not as heroes fall—- 
                   For Liberty? 

Then, let them rest—-their race is run; 
O! let them rest; their day is done; 
They found them each a glorious grave, 
But still their fame is on thy wave, 

December, 1826. 

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