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Befire the Battle

 By the hope within us springing, 
Herald of to-morrow's strife; 
By that sun, whose light is bringing 
Chains or freedom, death or life -- 
Oh! remember life can be 
No charm for him, who lives not free! 
Like the day-star in the wave, 
Sinks a hero in his grave, 
'Midst the dew-fall of a nation's tears.
Happy is he o'er whose decline The smiles of home may soothing shine, And light him down the steep of years: But oh, how blest they sink to rest, Who close their eyes on victory's breast! O'er his watch-fire's fading embers Now the foeman's cheek turns white, When his heart that field remembers, Where we tamed his tyrant might.
Never let him bind again A chain like that we broke from then.
Hark! the horn of combat calls -- Ere the golden evening falls, May we pledge that horn in triumph round.
Many a heart that now beats high, In slumber cold at night shall lie, Nor waken even at victory's sound: -- But oh how blest that hero's sleep, O'er whom a wondering world shall weep!

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