Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Noblesse Oblige
By Robert Underwood Johnson (1853–1937)
 
[Born in Washington, D.C., 1853. Died in New York, N. Y., 1937. The Century Magazine. 1883–89.]

WHAT is diviner than the peace of foes!
  He conquers not who does not conquer hate,
  Or thinks the shining wheels of heaven wait
On his forgiving. Dimmer the laurel shows
On brows that darken; and war-won repose        5
  Is but a truce when heroes abdicate
  To Huns—unfabling those of elder date
Whose every corse a fiercer warrior rose.
O ye that saved the land! Ah yes, and ye
  That bless its saving! Neither need forget        10
    The price our destiny did of both demand—
Toil, want, wounds, prison, and the lonely sea
  Of tears at home. Oh, look on these. And yet—
    Before the human fail you—quick! your hand!
 
 
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