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Poem by Gerald Massey

The Men of Forty-Eight

THEY rose in Freedom's rare sunrise,
    Like Giants roused from wine;
And in their hearts and in their eyes,
    The God leapt up divine!
Their souls flasht out like naked swords,
    Unsheathed for fiery fate!
Strength went like battle with their words
    The Men of Forty-eight,
    For the Men of Forty-eight.

Dark days have fall'n, yet in the strife
    They bate no hope sublime,
And bravely works the exultant life,
    Their hearts pulse thro' the time:
As grass is greenest trodden down,
    So suffering makes men great,
And this dark tide shall richly crown
    The work of Forty-eight,
    For the Men of Forty-eight.

Some in a bloody burial sleep,
    Like Greeks to glory gone,
But in their steps avengers leap
    With their proof-armour on:
And hearts beat high with dauntless trust
    To triumph soon or late,
Tho' they be mould'ring down in dust 
    Brave Men of Forty-eight!
    For the Men of Forty-eight!

O when the world wakes up to worst
    The Tyrants once again,
And Freedom's summons-shout shall burst,
    Rare music! on the brain,
With heart to heart, in many a land,
    Ye'll find them all elate
Brave remnant of that Spartan-band,
    The Men of Forty-eight.
    For the Men of Forty-eight.

Gerald Massey

Gerald Massey's other poems:
  1. Love in Idleness
  2. A Maiden's Song
  3. A Night-Musing
  4. Long Expected
  5. A Lyric of Love

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