O Virtue, won by earnest strife,
And holding out the noblest prize
That ever-gilded earthly life,
Or drew it on to seek the skies;
For thee what son of Greece would not
Deem it an enviable lot,
To live the life, to die the death,
That fears no weary hour, shrinks from no ﬁery breath?
Such fruit hast thou of heavenly bloom,
A lure more rich than golden heap,
More tempting than the joys of home,
More bland than spell of soft-eyed sleep.
For thee Alcides, son of Jove,
And the twin boys of Leda strove,
With patient toil and sinewy might,
Thy glorious prize to grasp, to reach thy lofty height.
Achilles, Ajax, for thy love
Descended to the realms of night;
Atarneus’ King thy vision drove,
To quit for aye the glad sun-light,
Therefore, to memory’s daughters dear,
His deathless name, his pure career,
Live shrined in song, and link’d with awe,
The awe of Xenian Jove, and faithful friendship’s law…