What's the spring-breathing jasmine and rose?
What's the summer, with all its gay train?
Or the splendour of autumn, to those
Who've bartered their freedom for gain?
No sweetness the senses can cheer,
Which corruption and bribery blind;
No brightness that gloom can ever clear,
For honour is the sun of the mind.
Let virtue distinguish the brave,
Place riches in lowest degree;
Think him poorest who can be a slave,
Him richest who dares to be free.
Let us think how our ancestors rose,
Let us think how our ancestors fell,
The rights they defended, and those
They bought with their blood we'll never sell.
Old words… Timeless meaning