The Kings Of Old Have Shrine And Tomb

The kings of old have shrine and tomb
In many a minster’s haughty gloom;
And green, along the ocean-side,
The mounds arise where heroes died;
But show me on thy flowery breast,
Earth! where thy nameless martyrs rest!

The thousands that, uncheered by praise,
Have made one offering of their days;
For truth, for heaven, for freedom’s sake,
Resigned the bitter cup to take;
And silently, in fearless faith,
Have bowed their noble souls to death.

O, haply all around lie strewed
The ashes of that multitude!
It may be that each day we tread
Where thus devoted hearts have bled,
And the sweet flowers the children sow
Take root in holy dust below.

What though no stone the record bears
Of their deep thoughts and lonely prayers,
May not our inmost hearts be stilled,
With knowledge of their presence filled,
And by their lives be taught to prize
The meekness of self-sacrifice?