Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
My Fatherland (I.)
By William Cranston Lawton (1853–1941)
An Incident of the Retreat of the Ten Thousand

THE IMPERIAL boy had fallen in his pride
  Before the walls of golden Babylon.
  The host who deemed that priceless treasure won
For many a day since then had wandered wide,
By famine thinned, by savage hordes defied.        5
  In a deep vale, beneath the setting sun,
  They saw at last a swift black river run,
While shouting spearsmen thronged the farther side.
Then eagerly, with startled, joyous eyes,
  Toward the despondent chief a soldier flew:        10
  “I was a slave in Athens: never knew
    My native country: but I understand
The meaning of yon wild barbarian cries,
    And I believe this is my fatherland!”

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