The Greek Partisan

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Our free flag is dancing
  In the free mountain air,
And burnished arms are glancing,
  And warriors gathering there;
And fearless is the little train
  Whose gallant bosoms shield it;
The blood that warms their hearts shall stain
  That banner, ere they yield it.
--Each dark eye is fixed on earth,
  And brief each solemn greeting;
There is no look nor sound of mirth,
  Where those stern men are meeting.

They go to the slaughter,
  To strike the sudden blow,
And pour on earth, like water,
  The best blood of the foe;
To rush on them from rock and height,
  And clear the narrow valley,
Or fire their camp at dead of night,
  And fly before they rally.
--Chains are round our country pressed,
  And cowards have betrayed her,
And we must make her bleeding breast
  The grave of the invader.

Not till from her fetters
  We raise up Greece again,
And write, in bloody letters,
  That tyranny is slain,--
Oh, not till then the smile shall steal
  Across those darkened faces,
Nor one of all those warriors feel
  His children's dear embraces,
--Reap we not the ripened wheat,
  Till yonder hosts are flying,
And all their bravest, at our feet,
  Like autumn sheaves are lying.

© William Cullen Bryant