There was a time when my cheek burned
To give such scornful words the lie,
Ungoverned nature madly spurned
The law that bade it not defy.
Oh, in the days of ardent youth
I would have given my life for truth.
For truth, for right, for liberty,
I would have gladly, freely died;
And now I calmly bear and see
The vain man smile, the fool deride,
Though not because my heart is tame,
Though not for fear, though not for shame.
My soul still chokes at every tone
Of selfish and self-clouded error;
My breast still braves the world alone,
Steeled as it ever was to terror.
Only I know, howe'er I frown,
The same world will go rolling on.