Musings in Maoriland
Our Spartan Walls
Our Spartan Walls.
Where are the walls of Sparta? what ramparts can she boast?
Where are the walls of Sparta? Behold yon sturdy host
Whose mighty columns stretch along fair Lacedæmon's vale;
There stand the walls of Sparta, and who dare them assail?
Lycurgus plann'd those Doric forts, built up of kingly men,
To guard the land!—And here we stand as Spartan walls again.
Where are the walls of Sparta? Our coasts are fortless, too;
What matters that? for here are hearts as dauntless and as true
As ever beat in Spartan breasts; and Freedom here has found
A grander clime, a brighter home, a higher vantage ground
Than ever proud Laconia gave—each hill, and plain, and glen,
And dell, and glade for her was made with Spartan walls again.
Where are the walls of Sparta? Our rugged mountains rise
Their bold, ambitious, hoar-crown'd heads, in grandeur to the skies;
Those are old loyal sentinels, that ne'er desert their posts
Round Freedom's shrine. But 'fenceless are the gateways of our coasts;
No battlements protect our bays, nor fortresses! Why, then,
We must resort to living forts, and Spartan walls again!
Where are the walls of Sparta, the stronghold and the keep?
The castellated battery to frown across the deep?
I see no iron turrets here, no ramparts built of stone!—
Behold Zealandia's strong towers of flesh, and blood, and bone,
Invincible as those that held the glorious valley when
Leonidas stood in the Pass—Our Spartan walls again.
Where are the walls of Sparta?—Advance our Yeomen! Ho!
See! see they rush to guard the land all ready for the foe!
No Helots here, the Freeman's seal is stamp'd on every face,
These are the trusty guardians of the honor of our race!
Should savage slaves assail us; to trowel, plough, and pen
We'll bid adieu, for rifles true, and Spartan walls again.