The State

by Alcaeus


What constitutes a State?
Not high-raised battlement, or labored mound,
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities fair, with spires and turrets crown'd;
No:--Men, high-minded men,
With powers as far above dull brutes endued
In forest, brake or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude:--
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain;
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant, while they rend the chain.

Last updated January 14, 2019