Pro Patria Mori
The Monthly Magazine, I (May 1796), p. 313
The Scots Magazine, LVIII (October 1796), p. 703
From the German of Burger.
For virtue, freedom, human rights, to fall,
Beseems the brave: it is a Saviour's death.
Of heroes only the most pure of all
Thus with their heart's blood tinge the
And this proud death is seemliest in the man
Who for a kindred race, a country bleeds:
Three hundred Spartans form the shining van
Of those, whom fame in this high triumph
Great is the death for a good prince incurr'd;
Who wields the sceptre with benignant hand:
Well may for him the noble bare his sword,
Falling he earns the blessings of a land.
Death for friend, parent, child, or her we love,
If not so great, is beauteous to behold:
This the fine tumults of the heart approve:
It is the walk to death unbought of gold.
But for mere majesty to meet a wound—
Who holds that great or glorious, he mistakes:
That is the fury of the pamper'd hound,
Which envy, anger, or the whip, awakes.
And for a tyrant's sake to seek a jaunt
To hell—'s a death which only hell enjoys:
Where such a hero falls—the gibbet plant,
A murderer's trophy, and a plunderer's prize.