previous next

[232] The great world lay before him,
     For he was in his youth,
With love of life young hearts are rife.
     But better he loved truth.
He fought for his convictions,
     And when he stood at bay
He would not flinch nor stir one inch
     From honor's narrow way.

They offered life and freedom
     If he would speak the word;
In silent pride he gazed aside
     As one who had not heard.
They argued, pleaded, threatened—
     It was but wasted breath,
‘Let come what must, I keep my trust,’
     He said and laughed at death.

He would not sell his manhood
     To purchase priceless hope;
Where kings cast down a name and crown
     He dignified a rope.
Ah, grave! where was your triumph?
     And death! where was your sting?
He showed you how a man could bow
     To doom and stay a king.

And God, who loves the loyal
     Because they are like him,
I doubt not yet that soul shall set
     Among his cherubim.
Oh, Southland! fling your laurels:
     And add your wreath, Oh, North!
Let glory claim the hero's name,
     And tell the world his worth.


The bronze head of Sam Davis was one of the most admired works of art in the Parthenon of the Tennessee Centennial.

This bust, executed by Julian Zolling, represents a nobly formed head; the boyish face conveys an impression of courage, strength and sweetness. Many visitors were attracted to this bit of bronze; singularly enough, many of them had never before heard of Sam Davis and his tragic death. Here is the story:

In 1863 General Bragg sent a number of picked men, as scouts, among them Sam Davis, into Middle Tennessee in order to gain information concerning the Federal army; he wished to know if the Union army was re-enforcing Chattanooga. The men were to go

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Tennessee (Tennessee, United States) (1)

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.
Sam Davis (3)
Julian Zolling (1)
Bragg (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1863 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: