Lord Byron

On The Star Of ‘The Legion Of Honour’

From The French

Star of the brave!–whose beam hath shed Such glory o’er the quick and dead ­ Thou radiant and adored deceit! Which millions rush’d in arms to greet, Wild meteor of immortal birth; Why rise in Heaven to set on Earth? Souls of slain heroes form’d thy rays; Eternity flash’d through thy blaze; The music of thy martial sphere Was fame on high and honour here; And thy light broke on human eyes, Like a volcano of the skies. Like lava roll’d thy stream of blood, And swept down empires with its flood; Earth rock’d beneath thee to her base, As thou didst lighten through all space; And the shorn Sun grew dim in air, And set while thou wert dwelling there. Before thee rose, and with thee grew, A rainbow of the loveliest hue Of three bright colours, each divine, And fit for that celestial sign; For Freedom’s hand had blended them, Like tints in an immortal gem. One tint was of the sunbeam’s dyes; One, the blue depth of Seraph’s eyes; One the pure Spirit’s veil of white Had robed in radiance of its light: The three so mingled did beseem The texture of a heavenly dream. Star of the brave! thy ray is pale, And darkness must again prevail! But, oh thou Rainbow of the free! Our tears and blood must flow for thee. When thy bright promise fades away, Our life is but a load of clay. And Freedom hallows with her tread The silent cities of the dead; For beautiful in death are they Who proudly fall in her array; And soon, oh Goddess! may we be For evermore with them or thee!

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