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As I poured down his throat our last measure of wine, Which (the burgesses voted by common consent)

Was no more than his due who brought good news from Ghent.



In 1858 England was engaged in a war with China. A detachment of Indian troops, led by a private of the famous Kentish regiment, the Baffs, so called from the facings of their uniforms, was captured by some of the piratical Chinese soldiers. The prisoners were told that their lives would be spared if they would prostrate themselves before the Chinese and press their foreheads in the dust. The Indians very promptly prostrated themselves as ordered, and their lives were spared; but the English lad swore that he would not thus abase himself, and his captors immediately put him to death.

In each of the punitive expeditions that Great Britain sent into China, Thomas Bruce, Eighth Lord Elgin, was both commander in chief of the English military forces and plenipotentiary or ambassador to the Chinese government.

Last night, among his fellow-roughs,
He jested, quaffed, and swore;

A drunken private of the Buffs,
Who never looked before.

To-day, beneath the foeman's frown,
He stands in Elgin's place,
Ambassador from Britain's crown,
And type of all her race.

Poor, reckless, rude, low-born, untaught,
Bewildered, and alone,

A heart with English instinct fraught
He yet can call his own.

Aye, tear his body limb from limb,
Bring cord, or axe, or flame;

He only knows, that not through him
Shall England come to shame.

Far Kentish hop-fields round him seemed Like dreams to come and go;

Bright leagues of cherry-blossoms gleamed,
One sheet of living snow;

The smoke above his father's door,
In gray, soft eddyings hung:
Must he then watch it rise no more,
Doomed by himself so young?

Yes, honor calls! With strength like steel

He puts the vision by;

Let dusky Indians whine and kneel;

An English lad must die.

And thus, with eyes that would not shrink,
With knee to man unbent,
Unfaltering on its dreadful brink,

To his red grave he went.

Vain, mightiest fleets, of iron framed;
Vain, those all-shattering guns;
Unless proud England keep, untamed,
The strong heart of her sons.

So let his name through Europe ring

A man of mean estate,

Who died, as firm as Sparta's king,
Because his soul was great.



In 1857 a wide-spread mutiny broke out in India. By the first of July, Lucknow, a fortified city on the Ganges, was besieged by the mutineers. In addition to the handful of English soldiers in the fort there were a good many business men, missionaries, and more than one hundred thirty women and children. The sappers or miners of the Sepoy regiments in revolt began to tunnel or mine under the walls of the fort for the purpose of blowing it up. Food became scarce; fever, smallpox, and cholera carried off many; and when General Havelock finally reached Lucknow, the 25th of September, the situation had become almost hopeless.

Oh, that last day in Lucknow fort!

We knew that it was the last;

That the enemy's mines crept surely in,
And the end was coming fast.

To yield to that foe meant worse than death;
And the men and we all worked on;
It was one day more of smoke and roar,
And then it would all be done.

There was one of us, a corporal's wife,
A fair, young, gentle thing,

Wasted with fever in the siege,

And her mind was wandering.

She lay on the ground, in her Scottish plaid,

And I took her head on my knee;

"When my father comes hame frae the pleugh," she said, "Oh! then please wauken me.”

She slept like a child on her father's floor,

In the flecking of woodbine shade,

When the house-dog sprawls by the open door,
And the mother's wheel is stayed.

It was smoke and roar and powder-stench,
And hopeless waiting for death;
And the soldier's wife, like a full-tired child,
Seemed scarce to draw her breath.

I sank to sleep; and I had my dream
Of an English village-lane,

And wall and garden; but one wild scream
Brought me back to the roar again.

There Jessie Brown stood listening
Till a sudden gladness broke

All over her face; and she caught my hand
And drew me near and spoke:

"The Hielanders! Oh! dinna

The slogan far awa?

ye hear

The McGregor's? Oh! I ken it weel;
It's the grandest o' them a'!

"God bless thae bonny Hielanders!
We're saved! we're saved!" she cried;
And fell on her knees; and thanks to God
Flowed forth like a full flood-tide.

Along the battery line her cry

Had fallen among the men,

And they started back;-they were there to die;
But was life so near them, then?

They listened for life; the rattling fire
Far off, and the far-off roar,

Were all; and the colonel shook his head,
And they turned to their guns once more.

Then Jessie said, "The slogan's done;

But win'na ye hear them noo,

'The Campbells are comin' '? It's no a dream; Our succors hae broken through."

We heard the roar and the rattle afar,

But the pipes we could not hear;

So the men plied their work of hopeless war,
And knew that the end was near.

It was not long ere it made its way,
A thrilling, ceaseless sound:


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