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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Robert Nicoll 1814–37

The Hero

MY hero is na deck’d wi’ gowd,

He has nae glittering state;

Renown upon a field o’ blood

In war he hasna met.

He has nae siller in his pouch,

Nae menials at his ca’;

The proud o’ earth frae him would turn,

And bid him stand awa’.

His coat is hame-spun hodden-gray,

His shoon are clouted sair,

His garments, maist unhero-like,

Are a’ the waur o’ wear:

His limbs are strong—his shoulders broad,

His hands were made to plough;

He ’s rough without, but sound within;

His heart is bauldly true.

He toils at e’en, he toils at morn,

His wark is never through;

A coming life o’ weary toil

Is ever in his view.

But on he trudges, keeping aye

A stout heart to the brae,

And proud to be an honest man

Until his dying day.

His hame a hame o’ happiness

And kindly love may be;

And monie a nameless dwelling-place

Like his we still may see.

His happy altar-hearth so bright

Is ever bleezing there;

And cheerfu’ faces round it set

Are an unending prayer.

The poor man in his humble hame,

Like God, who dwells aboon,

Makes happy hearts around him there,

Sae joyfu’ late and soon.

His toil is sair, his toil is lang;

But weary nights and days,

Hame—happiness akin to his—

A hunder-fauld repays.

Go, mock at conquerors and kings!

What happiness give they?

Go, tell the painted butterflies

To kneel them down and pray!

Go, stand erect in manhood’s pride,

Be what a man should be,

Then come, and to my hero bend

Upon the grass your knee!