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The World's Heroes by George Essex Evans

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We see the world's great heroes stand
   With steadfast hearts and shining shields;
Their fame is wafted o'er the land ---
   The victors of a thousand fields.

The victors of a thousand fields
   Where moral courage won the day;
No dimness mars those shining shields ---
   Their fame shall never pass away.

But had I some great poet's lyre   
   To stir the inmost souls of men
With passion's strength, with notes of fire,
   And write high thoughts with poet's pen,

I'd sing not of those names of pride
   Whose fame has o'er the welkin rung,
But of the millions who have died
   Unknown, unnoticed, and unsung.

All the world's heroes! Can we know?
   Those countless throngs who move along
Firm in the path they have to go;
   Who choose the right and spurn the wrong?   

Each noble thought, unselfish deed,
   Can never fade --- can never die;
The world may pass on without heed,   
   But angels write it down on high;

'Tis writ on scrolls of fire above,
   And holy angels gently say:
"The record of each deed of love   
   Can never fade or pass away."

The world rolls on and time declines
   With every day, with every hour;
Truth like a star eternal shines
   And goodness blossoms as a flower.

Yet, though unnoticed and unknown
   Some humble hero sinks to die,
His record stands in heaven alone,
   And heavenly records cannot lie.

First published in The Queenslander, 6 March 1886

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

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