Let others tell of battles fought
On bloody, ghastly fields,
Where honour greets the man who wins
And death the man who yields;
But I will speak of him who fights
And vanquishes his sins,
Who struggles on through weary years
Against himself and wins.
He is a hero, staunch and brave,
Who fights an unseen foe,
Who puts at last beneath his feet
His passions base and low;
And stands erect in manhood’s might,
Undaunted, undismayed –
The bravest man who drew a sword
In foray or in raid.
It calls for something more than brawn
Or muscle to o’ercome,
An enemy who marcheth not
With banner, plume and drum –
A foe, for ever lurking nigh,
With silent, stealthy tread,
For ever near your board by day,
At night beside your bed.
All honour, then to each brave heart,
Though poor or rich he be,
Who struggles with his baser part –
Who conquers and is free.
He may not wear a hero’s crown,
Or fill a hero’s grave;
But truth will place his name among
The bravest of the brave.