Must thou go, my glorious Chief,
Sever’d from thy faithful few?
Who can tell thy warrior’s grief,
Maddening o’er that long adieu?
Woman’s love, and friendship’s zeal,
Dear as both have been to me
What are they to all I feel,
With a soldier’s faith for thee?
Idol of the soldier’s soul!
First in fight, but mightiest now;
Many could a world control;
Thee alone no doom can bow.
By thy side for years I dared
Death; and envied those who fell,
When their dying shout was heard,
Blessing him they served so well.
Would that I were cold with those,
Since this hour I live to see;
When the doubts of coward foes
Scarce dare trust a man with thee,
Dreading each should set thee free!
Oh! although in dungeons pent,
All their chains were light to me,
Gazing on thy soul unbent.
Would the sycophants of him
Now so deaf to duty’s prayer,
Were his borrow’d glories dim,
In his native darkness share?
Were that world this hour his own,
All thou calmly dost resign,
Could he purchase with that throne
Hearts like those which still are thine?
My chief, my king, my friend, adieu!
Never did I droop before;
Never to my sovereign sue,
As his foes I now implore:
All I ask is to divide
Every peril he must brave;
Sharing by the hero’s side
His fall, his exile, and his grave.