Prussian, that iron cross upon thy breast,1
Which thou with manhood’s modest pride dost wear,2
I ask not by what deed above the rest,3
Dashing or daring, it was planted there ;4
I know that when the insolent heel of Gaul5
Tramped on all rights to thee and Deutschland dear,6
Thou rose regenerate from thy plunging fall7
By vows devout and discipline severe.8
Thus blazed thy bright noon from a tearful morn,9
Blessing from bane sprang, and great gain from loss,10
While in thy hand the avenging steel was borne,11
And in thy heart was stumped the patient cross :12
Thus Spartan pith and Christian grace were thine,13
Born in one day, and bodied in one sign.14