Слике страница



You know, we French stormed Ratisbon :

A mile or so away
On a little mound, Napoleon

Stood on our storming-day ;
With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,

Legs wide, arms locked behind,
As if to balance the prone brow

Oppressive with its mind.


Just as perhaps he mused “My plans

“ That soar, to earth may fall,
“Let once my army-leader Lannes

Waver at yonder wall,—"
Out 'twixt the battery smokes there few

A rider, bound on bound
Full-galloping ; nor bridle drew

Until he reached the mound.


Then off there flung in smiling joy,

And held himself erect
By just his horse's mane, a boy :

You hardly could suspect-
(So tight he kept his lips compressed,

Scarce any blood came through)
You looked twice ere you saw his breast

Was all but shot in two.


“Well," cried he, “Emperor, by God's grace

“We've got you Ratisbon ! “ The Marshal's in the market-place, * And


'll be there anon To see your flag-bird flap his vans

“Where I, to heart's desire, “Perched him!” The chief's eye flashed; his plans

Soared up again like fire.


The chief's eye flashed; but presently

Softened itself, as sheathes A film the mother-eagle's eye

When her bruised eaglet breathes; “ You ’re wounded !” “Nay,” the soldier's pride

Touched to the quick, he said : “I 'm killed, Sire !" And his chief beside,

Smiling the boy fell dead.



Just for a handful of silver he left us,

Just for a riband to stick in his coat-
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,

Lost all the others, she lets us devote;
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,

So much was theirs who so little allowed :
How all our copper had gone for his service:

Rags-were they purple, his heart had been proud! We that had loved him so, followed him, honoured him,

Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,

Made him our pattern to live and to die !
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
Burns, Shelley, were with us,—they watch from their

graves ! He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,

He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!

[ocr errors][merged small]

We shall march prospering, -not thro' his presence;

Songs may inspirit us,-not from his lyre;
Deeds will be done,---while he boasts his quiescence,

Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire ;
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,

One task more declined, one more footpath untrod, One more devil's-triumph and sorrow for angels,

One wrong more to man, one more insult to God! Life's night begins : let him never come back to us !

There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
Forced praise on our part-the glimmer of twilight,

Never glad confident morning again !
Best fight on well, for we taught him-strike gallantly,

Menace our heart ere we master his own ;
Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,

Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne !


He sings.
I SEND my heart up to thee, all


In this my singing.
For the stars help me, and the sea bears part ;

The very night is clinging
Closer to Venice' streets to leave one space

Above me, whence thy face
May light my joyous heart to thee its dwelling-place.


She speaks.
Say after me, and try to say
My very words, as if each word
Came from you

your own accord,
In your own voice, in your own way:
6. This woman's heart and soul and brain
“ Are mine as much as this gold chain
“ She bids me wear; which” (say again)
“ I choose to make by cherishing
“ A precious thing, or choose to fling
Over the boat-side, ring by ring.”
And yet once more say no word more!
Since words are only words. Give o'er !

all the same,



Familiarly by my pet name,
Which if the Three should hear you call,

« ПретходнаНастави »