Song. (Grasp the dire dagger...)
IX. Grasp the dire dagger...
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Translated from the German.
Ah! grasp the dire dagger and couch the fell spear,
If vengeance and death to thy bosom be dear,
The dastard shall perish, death's torment shall prove,
For fate and revenge are decreed from above.
Ah! where is the hero, whose nerves strung by youth,
Will defend the firm cause of justice and truth;
With insatiate desire whose bosom shall swell,
To give up the oppressor to judgement and Hell --
For him shall the fair one twine chaplets of bays,
To him shall each warrior give merited praise,
And triumphant returned from the clangour of arms,
He shall find his reward in his loved maiden's charms.
In ecstatic confusion the warrior shall sip,
The kisses that glow on his love's dewy lip,
And mutual, eternal, embraces shall prove,
The rewards of the brave are the transports of love.
Source:The Lyrics and Shorter Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Copyright 1907, reprinted 1913
London: J.M. Dent and Sons, Ltd.
New York: E.P. Dutton and Co.