« PreviousContinue »
The want that keep their silence, till from Thee
Thou dost hide
These in Thy bosom, and not these alone,
Thou madest us for Thine;
Lead Thou us forth upon Thy Mount, and show
Show us Thy countenance, and we are WHOLE!
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE DIFFERENT VARIETIES 01 STRESS.
(AT THE BRIDGE,)
"Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,
With all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me,
Then out spake Spurius Lartius,
And out spake strong Herminius, Of Titian blood was he: "I will abide on thy left side,
And keep the bridge with thee."
"Horatius," quoth the Consul,
"As thou sayest, so let it be."
Now, while the Three were tightening
The Consul was the foremost man
And Fathers mixed with Commons,
Meanwhile the Tuscan army,
Right glorious to behold,
Jame flashing back the noonday light,
Four hundred trumpets sounded
A peal of warlike glee,
As that great host, with measured tread, And spears advanced, and ensigns spread, Rolled slowly towards the bridge's head, Where stood the dauntless Three.
The Three stood calm and silent,
From all the vanguard rose:
And forth three chiefs came spurring
To earth they sprang, their swords they drew
But all Etruria's noblest
Felt their hearts sink to see
Where those bold Romans stood,
Was none who would be foremost
But those behind cried "Forward!"
And on the tossing sea of steel,
Yet one man for one moment
Strode out before the crowd;
Well known was he to all the Three,
Now welcome to thy home!
Why dost thou stay, and turn away?
Thrice looked he on the city;
Thrice looked he on the dead;
And thrice came on in fury,
And thrice turned back in dread; And, white with fear and hatred, Scowled at the narrow way
Where, wallowing in a pool of blood,
But meanwhile axe and lever
And now the bridge hangs tottering
"Come back, come back, Horatius!"
Back darted Spurius Lartius;
And, as they passed, beneath their feet
And on the farther shore
Saw brave Horatius stand alone,
They would have crossed once more.
But with a crash like thunder
Fell every loosened beam,
And, like a dam, the mighty wreck
Lay right athwart the stream:
And a long shout of triumph
Rose from the walls of Rome,
As to the highest turret-tops
And like a horse unbroken
When first he feels the rein,
And whirling down, in fierce career,
Alone stood brave Horatius,
"Down with him!" cried false Sextus,
Round turned he, as not deigning
The white porch of his home;
And he spake to the noble river
"Oh, Tiber! father Tiber!
To whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,
Take thou in charge this day!
No sound of joy or sorrow
Was heard from either bank; But friends and foes in dumb surprise, With parted lips and straining eyes, Stood gazing where he sank; And when above the surges
They saw his crest appear,
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry, And even the ranks of Tuscany
Could scarce forbear to cheer.
But fiercely ran the current,
Swollen high by months of rain: And fast his blood was flowing; And he was sore in pain,
And heavy with his armour,
And spent with changing blows:
And oft they thought him sinking,
Never, I ween, did swimmer,