previous next

[24] ‘a possession forever,’ an inheritance undefiled from generation to generation.

A people forgetful of what is noble in their past would proclaim their own degradation in the present and their doom for the future. There are degenerate dwellers in some lands—famous throughout the world by achievement of old—that heave not a sigh for the ‘glory’ that was their light, but has ‘departed.’ The Corsair of the Grecian isles, himself, perhaps, the descendant of mighty men, may feel no throb of pride at ‘sea-born Salamis,’ and the Spartan, more debased than his ancient Helot, blush not at the name of Thermopylae. Not so with his heritage of glory, the Southron of this day. Unlike effete peoples who, amid all the surroundings of physical beauty and all the incitements to heroic resolve, yet ‘weep not, wake not, fire not now,’ but, rather like the pious Israelite of old, with his people in captivity, his temple in ruins—the instruments of his former joy the mute emblems of his woe—he will feel, as he peoples thought with the ‘unreturning brave,’ when I forget, then ‘may my right hand forget her cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!’

He has, indeed, become, in good faith, an integral part—as before the strife—of a reunited people, and stands ready to move forward. But oblivion will not veil what is glorious in his history. His late antagonists are glad to share his priceless contribution to the annals of the world's heroism, and join hands with him as he decorates his fallen comrades' graves.

And for himself, when memory brings their forms to view, though the beaming flush of health has faded in the pallor of physical dissolution, and ‘the pale lack lustre eye,’ looks not out upon earthly sights, he feels that from out that rugged past, illumined by the splendor of their achievements, there is shed a softening radiance, and encircling it is a gilded halo, from which, now shining adown the moving years, the lines of living light shall irradiate the vistas of all coming time.

He proudly feels—

‘Death makes no conquest of these conquerors;’

that, for them, the mortal hath put on immortality, and in the power that from their graves they wield—‘Death is swallowed up in Victory!’

An attempt by one, like myself, not a member of this command, and present as your guest, to refer in other than general terms to its members, would be impossible within the limits your patience accords.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Salamis (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: