Andre's Request to Washington

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Andre's Request to Washington  (1835) 
by Nathaniel Parker Willis
John Andre was the British officer with whom American traitor Benedict Arnold was conspiring. He requested to General George Washington that he be killed by firing squad but was hanged instead.

It is not the fear of death
  That damps my brow;
It is not for another breath
  I ask thee now;
I can die with lip unstirr'd
  And a quiet heart—
Let but this prayer be heard
  Ere I depart.

I can give up my mother's look—
  My sister's kiss;
I can think of love—yet brook
  A death like this!
I can give up the young fame
  I burn'd to win—
All—but the spotless name
  I glory in!

Thine is the power to give,
  Thine to deny,
Joy for the hour I live—
  Calmness to die.
By all the brave should cherish,
  By my dying breath,
I ask that I may perish
  By a soldier's death.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.