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"Faster!" she cries, "O, faster!" Eleven the churchbells chime:
"O God," she cries, "help Bregenz, and bring me there in time!"
But louder than bells' ringing, or lowing of the kine, Grows nearer in the midnight the rushing of the Rhine.
Shall not the roaring waters their headlong gallop check?
The steed draws back in terror, she leans above his
To watch the flowing darkness, the bank is high and steep;
One pause, he staggers forward, and plunges in the
She strives to pierce the blackness, and looser throws
Her steed must breast the waters that dash above his
How gallantly, how nobly, he struggles through the
And see, in the far distance shine out the lights of home!
Up the steep bank he bears her, and now they rush
Towards the heights of Bregenz, that tower above the
They reach the gate1 of Bregenz just as the midnight
And out come serf2 and soldier to meet the news she
Bregenz is saved! Ere daylight her battlements are mann'd ;
Defiance greets the army that marches on the land:
Three hundred years are vanish'd, and yet upon the
An old stone gateway rises, to do her honor still.
And there, when Bregenz women sit spinning in the shade,
They see in quaint old carving the charger and the maid.
And when, to guard old Bregenz, by gateway, street, and tower,
The warder paces all night long, and calls each passing hour:
"Nine," "ten," "eleven," he cries aloud, and then (O crown of fame!)
When midnight pauses in the skies he calls the maiden's
ADELAIDE A. PROCTER.
1 Gate: Bregenz was formerly a walled town.
2 Serf: a feudal dependent but one degree above a slave; a laborer bound to the soil and unable to leave it without his lord's consent.
AT midnight, in his guarded tent,
The Turk was dreaming of the hour
In dreams, through camp and court he bore
In dreams, his song of triumph heard;
Then press'd that monarch's throne a king:
As Eden's garden bird.
At midnight, in the forest shades,
Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band,
True as the steel of their tried blades,
1 Bozzaris (Boz-zar'is): a Greek patriot who took a leading part in the war of independence begun in 1821, by which Greece threw off the yoke of the Turkish power. In 1823 Bozzaris attacked a Turkish force much larger than his own. The battle was begun in the night and was a complete surprise to the Turks. Bozzaris was mortally wounded, but the Greeks won a great and decisive victory. Six years later, the Turks, who had held Greece in subjection for nearly four centuries, were obliged to make peace. 2 Signet-ring: a ring containing a signet or private seal, especially the seal used by a monarch in stamping documents.
8 Su'liote: a name derived from the Suli Mountains and river in North. western Greece [the ancient Epirus]; Bozzaris was himself a Suliote.
There had the Persian's thousands stood,
And now there breathed that haunted air,
An hour pass'd on: the Turk awoke :
"To arms! they come! the Greek! the Greek!”
"Strike! — till the last arm'd foe expires;
for the green graves of your sires;
God, and your native land!"
They fought like brave men, long and well;
1 Bozzaris attacked the Turks in their camp not far from Missolonghi, near the entrance of the Gulf of Corinth. The scene of the battle can only be said to be near that of Platea in the sense that both were on the shore of the gulf.
2 Platæa (Pla-tē'a): in 479 B.C. the Greeks defeated an invading army of Persians at Platæa, a town northwest of Athens, and a short distance from the head of the Gulf of Corinth.
3 Moslem: Mohammedans or Turks.
They conquer'd;- but Bozzaris fell,
His few surviving comrades saw
His smile when rang their loud hurrah,
Come to the bridal chamber, Death,
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier,
But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
The thanks of millions yet to be.
1 Blessèd: pronounced here in two syllables, bles sed.
2 Seals: apparently an allusion to the opening of the seals in Rev. vi., or to the pouring out of the vials of wrath, chapter xvi.