O the sight entrancing, When morning's beam is glancing O'er files array'd With helm and blade, And plumes in the gay wind dancing. When hearts are all high beating, And the trumpet's voice repeating That song whose breath May lead to death, But never to retreating. Then if a cloud comes over The brow of sire or lover, Think 'tis the shade By vict'ry made, Whose wings right o'er us hover. Yet 'tis not helm or feather For ask yon despot whether His plumèd bands Could bring such hands And hearts as ours together. Leave pomps to those who need 'em Adorn but man with freedom, And proud he braves The gaudiest slaves That crawl where monarchs lead 'em. The sword may pierce the beaver, Stone walls in time may sever, 'Tis mind alone, Worth steel and stone, That keeps men free for ever!
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
Researcher for this text: Ted Perry