If, in these days of luxury and ease,
A tale from Sparta's rigid state can please;
If patriot plans a British breast can warm;
If kings asserting liberty can charm;
If virtue still a grateful aspect wear;
Check not at Agis' fall the gen'rous tear.
He view'd his subjects with a parent's love;
With zeal to save a sinking people strove;
Strove their changed hearts with glory to inflame;
To mend their morals, and restore their name;
Till faction rose with murder at her side;
Then mourn'd his country, persevered, and died.
That country once for virtue was revered;
Admired by Greece; by haughty Asia fear'd.
Then citizens and soldiers were the same;
And soldiers heroes; for their wealth was fame.
Then for the brave the fair reserved her charms,
And scorn'd to clasp a coward in her arms.
The trumpet call'd; she seized the sword and shield;
Array'd in haste her husband for the field;
And sighing, whisper'd in a fond embrace,
"Remember !—death is better than disgrace."