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But when they turned their faces,
And on the farther shore
They would have crossed once more;
Alone stood brave Horatius,
But constant still in mindThrice thirty thousand foes before,
And the broad flood behind. “ Down with him!” cried false Sextus,
With a smile on his pale face; “Now yield thee,” cried Lars Porsena,
“ Now yield thee to our grace!”
Round turned he, as not deigning
Those craven ranks to see; Nought spake he to Lars Porsena,
To Sextus nought spake he;
But he saw on Palatinus
The white porch of his home; And he spake to the noble river
That rolls by the towers of Rome :
"O Tiber ! father Tiber !
To whom the Romans pray,
Take thou in charge this day!”
The good sword by his side, And, with his harness on his back,
Plunged headlong in the tide.
No sound of joy or sorrow
Was heard from either bank, But friends and foes in dumb surprise,
With parted lips and straining eyes,
They saw his crest appear,
And even the banks of Tuscany
Swollen high by months of rain,
And he was sore in pain, And heavy with his armor,
And spent with changing blows; And oft they thought him sinking,
And still again he rose.
Never, I ween, did swimmer,
In such an evil case,
Struggle through such a raging flood Safe to the landing-place;
But his limbs were borne up bravely
By the brave heart within, And our good father Tiber
Bare bravely up his chin.
“Curse on him!” quoth false Sextus,
"Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day
We should have sacked the town!" Heaven help him !” quoth Lars Porsena,
“ And bring him safe to shore; For such a gallant feat of arms
Was never seen before."
And underneath is written,
In letters all of gold,
In the brave days of old.
And still his name sounds stirring
Unto the men of Rome, As the trumpet-blast that cries to them
To charge the Volscian home; And wives still pray to Juno
For boys with hearts as bold As his who kept the bridge so well
In the brave days of old.
And in the nights of winter,
When the cold north winds blow, And the long howling of the wolves
Is heard amidst the snow, When round the lonely cottage
Roars loud the tempest's din, And the good logs of Algidus
Roar louder yet within;
When the oldest cask is opened,
And the largest lamp is lit; When the chestnuts glow in the embers
And the kid turns on the spit; When young and old in circle
Around the firebrands close ; When the girls are weaving baskets,
And the lads are shaping bows;
When the goodman mends his armor,
And trims his helmet’s plume; When the goodwife's shuttle merrily
Goes flashing through the loom;
With weeping and with laughter
Still is the story told,
THE CHURCH OF THE BEST LICKS.
Just as the flame on the forestick, which Ralph had watched so intensely, flickered and burned low, and just as Ralph, with a heavy but not quite hopeless heart, rose to leave, the latch lifted, and Bud re-entered.
“I want to say something," he stammered; “but you know it's hard to say it. I ha'n't no book-larnin' to speak of; and some things is hard to say when a man ha'n't got book-words to say 'em with. And they's some things a man can't hardly ever say anyhow to anybody."
Here Bud stopped. But Ralph spoke in such a matter-ofcourse way in reply, that he felt encouraged to go on. “You gin up Hanner kase you thought she belonged to
That's more’n I'd a done by a long shot. Now, arter I left here just now, I says to myself, 'A man what can gin up his gal on account of such a feeling for the rights of a FlatCricker like me, why, dog on it,' says I, “such a man is the man as can help me do better. I don't know whether you're a Hardshell or a Saftshell, or a Methodist, or a Campbellite, or a New Light, or a United Brother, or a Millerite, or what not. But I says, “The man what can do the clean thing by a ugly feller like me, and stick to it, when I was just ready to eat him
is a kind of a man to tie to. Here Bud stopped in fright at his own volubility; for he had run his words off like a piece learned by heart, as though afraid that if he stopped he would not have courage to
Ralph said that he did not yet belong to any church, and he was afraid he couldn't do Bud much good. But his tone was full of sympathy, and what is better than sympathy, a yearning for sympathy.
“You see,” said Bud, “ I wanted to git out of this lowlived, Flat-Crick way of livin'. We're a hard set down here, Mr. Hartsook; and I'm gettin' to be one of the hardest of