by William Smyth (1765 - 1849)

The hero may perish his country to save
Language: English 
Available translation(s): FRE
The hero may perish his country to save,
  And he lives in the records of fame;
The sage may the dungeons of tyranny brave --
  Ever honour'd and blest be his name!
But virtue, that silently toils [or]1 expires,
  No wreath for the brow to [entwine]2,
That asks but a smile -- but a fond sigh requires --
  O woman! that virtue is thine!

About the headline (FAQ)

View original text (without footnotes)
Confirmed with The Edinburgh Review: Or Critical Journal for Oct 1823 ... Jan. 1824, Vol. XXXIX, Edinburh, 1824, page 81.

Note: in the score of Beethoven's "The hero may perish", the words "hero", "sage", "virtue", and "woman" are capitalized.
1 in Beethoven's setting "Womankind" : "and"
2 in Beethoven's setting "Womankind" : "adorn"


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) [singable] (G. Pertz) , title unknown
  • FRE French (Français) (Guy Laffaille) , title unknown, copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ferdinando Albeggiani

This text was added to the website: 2005-01-16
Line count: 8
Word count: 61