Jane Wilde

27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896

The Old Man's Blessing

Mine eye is dull, my hair is white,
This arm is powerless for the fight,
Alas! alas! the battle’s van
Suits not a weak and aged man.
Thine eye is bright, thine arm is strong
’Tis Youth must right our country’s wrong.
Arise, my son, and proudly bear
This sword that I was wont to wear;
Firm grasp the hilt, fling down the sheath
A thousand years vears their wrongs bequeath

To thy young heart, thy hot revenge—
Kneel down, and swear thou wilt avenge.
May thy hand be fierce as Até’s,
Fighting for our old Penates;
May thy glance be lightning flashes,
May thy words be thunder crashes,
May that earnest, haughty frown,
Like weapon, strike the foeman down.
May thy smile of scorn be
Blasting as the Upas tree;
Boldly like Olympian God,
Hurl the tyrants from our sod,
Let their wail be Ichabod!
Be to them destruction glooming
Be to them a vengeance looming,
Hair‐suspended o’er their race,
Like the sword of Damoclés,
Let thy daring right hand free us,
Like that son of old Ægeus,
Who purged his land for evermore
From the blood‐stained Minotaur.
Fear not death, but fear dishonour;
Yield thy country all but honour.
What more fitting warrior’s shroud
Than the foeman’s standard proud?
Heed ye not their glozing words;
Fear ye not their myriad swords;
Never make ye peace with them
’Till ye chant their requiem.
Ha! I hear thy heart’s pulsation
Throbbing vengeance for our nation;
Ha! I see thy dark eyes shine
With a fury leonine
Burning brow and clenchéd hand
Quivering lip and naked brand
Arise! arise! my patriot son,
By hearts like thine is Freedom won!
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