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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

André’s Bequest to Washington

By Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806–1867)

[From Poems, Sacred, Passionate, and Humorous.—Complete Edition. 1864.]

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 a lip unstirred

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 burned 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!