Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Switzerland
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Switzerland and Austria: Vol. XVI.  1876–79.
Switzerland: Lucerne
Monument at Lucerne
John Kenyon (1784–1856)
To the Swiss Guard Massacred at the Assault on the Tuileries, A.D. 1792

WHEN maddened France shook her King’s palace floor,
  Nobly, heroic Swiss, ye met your doom.
Unflinching martyr to the oath he swore,
  Each steadfast soldier faced a certain tomb.
Not for your own, but others’ claims ye died:        5
  The steep, hard path of fealty called to tread,
Threatened or soothed, ye never turned aside,
  But held right on, where fatal duty led!
Reverent we stand beside the sculptured rock,
  Your cenotaph,—Helvetia’s grateful stone;        10
And mark in wonderment, the breathing block,
  Thorwaldsen’s glorious trophy,—in your own.
Yon dying lion is your monument!
  Type of majestic suffering, the brave brute,
Human almost, in mighty languishment        15
  Lies wounded, not subdued; and, proudly mute,
Seems as for some great cause resigned to die:
  And, hardly less than hero’s parting breath,
Speaks to the spirit, through the admiring eye,
  Of courage, faith, and honorable death.        20

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