Poem: My Heroes by Anonymous

In grand and stately phalanx
   My glorious heroes stand;
They wear no glittering helmet,
   They wield no flashing brand;
No shield nor coat of armour
   Have they to make them brave;
Their chosen only weapon
   A barn-yard inmate gave.

When common men have perished,
   No earthly trace we find;
The souls of these my heroes
   Rose and remained behind.
To lowly dust and ashes
   Though mortal flesh hath gone,
No grave shall ever hide them --
   Their very lives live on.

Each chose a noble mistress,
   And low before her throne
Vowed service and devotion
   To her, and her alone.
These bowed them down to Letters,
   Those chose the Poet's part;
Each took his vows upon him
   With stout and eager heart.

Ah! he that chose religion
   Wore oft a martyr's crown,
And he who bowed to Science
   In blood hath laid him down.
But ours the shining fabric
   Their patient toil hath wrought;
We have it for our birthright
   The Heritage of thought.

What hath the sword accomplished,
   Or lance by warrior hurled?
The weapon of my heroes
   Hath changed the whole wide world.
By faith they learned to labour
   Through dust and toil and tears,
And now they live for ever
   Through all the tide of years.

And I -- I live among them:
   I have on yonder shelves
The spirits of my heroes,
   Their very souls and selves.
Sometimes a dainty fairy
   Within my study looks;
To her that stately phalanx
   Are only "Papa's books."

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 17 July 1880

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 2, 2006 6:16 AM.

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