Hymn to Liberty

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Hymn to Liberty  (1918) 
by Dionysios Solomos, translated by Rudyard Kipling
The Hymn to Liberty is a poem written by Dionýsios Solomós in 1823 that consists of 158 stanzas, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros. In 1865, the first two stanzas officially became the Greek national anthem and later also that of the Republic of Cyprus. — Excerpted from Hymn to Liberty on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Rudyard Kipling created this seven-stanza English translation, which was first published in the Daily Telegraph on October 17, 1918.

See also other translations on Wikisource.


We knew thee of old,
     Oh, divinely restored,
By the light of thine eyes
     And the light of thy Sword.

From the graves of our slain
     Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again —
     Hail, Liberty! Hail!

Long time didst thou dwell
     Mid the peoples that mourn,
Awaiting some voice
     That should bid thee return.

Ah, slow broke that day
     And no man dared call,
For the shadow of tyranny
     Lay over all:

And we saw thee sad-eyed,
     The tears on thy cheeks
While thy raiment was dyed
     In the blood of the Greeks.

Yet, behold now thy sons
     With impetuous breath
Go forth to the fight
     Seeking Freedom or Death.

From the graves of our slain
     Shall thy valour prevail
As we greet thee again —
     Hail, Liberty! Hail!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1936, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.