Abbildungen der Seite


SHOUT for the mighty men

Who died along this shore,

Who died within this mountain's glen!
For never nobler chieftain's head

Was laid on valor's crimson bed,
Nor ever prouder gore

Sprang forth, than theirs who won the day
Upon thy strand, Thermopylæ!

Shout for the mighty men

Who on the Persian tents,

Like lions from their midnight den
Bounding on the slumbering deer,
Rushed a storm of sword and spear;

[ocr errors]

Like the roused elements,

Let loose from an immortal hand
To chasten or to crush a land!

But there are none to hear

Greece is a hopeless slave.

Leonidas! no hand is near

1 Xerxes, king of Persia, invaded Greece with an almost countless host, in 480 B.C. Leonidas, king of Sparta, with a small number of chosen men defended the rocky pass of Thermopyla (Ther-mop'y-lē), until the last of his heroic band fell. A monument was erected in the pass by the Greeks, which bore this inscription: "Go, traveller, and tell at Lacedæmon (Lace-de-mon) [or Sparta] that we fell here in obedience to her laws."

To lift thy fiery falchion1 now;
No warrior makes the warrior's vow
Upon thy sea-washed grave.

The voice that should be raised by men
Must now be given by wave and glen.

And it is given! The surge,

The tree, the rock, the sand

On freedom's kneeling spirit urge,
In sounds that speak but to the free,
The memory of thine and thee!
The vision of thy band

Still gleams within the glorious dell
Where their gore hallowed as it fell!

And is thy grandeur done?

Mother of men like these!

Has not thy outery gone

Where justice has an ear to hear?
Be holy! God shall guide thy spear,
Till in thy crimsoned seas

Are plunged the chain and scimitar.
Greece shall be a new-born star!


1 Falchion (fawl'chon): a short broadsword with a slightly curved point.


WHEN the British warrior queen,
Bleeding from the Roman rods,
Sought, with an indignant mien,
Counsel of her country's gods,

Sage beneath the spreading oak
Sat the Druid,2 hoary chief;
Every burning word he spoke
Full of rage and full of grief:

Princess! if our aged eyes

Weep upon thy matchless wrongs,
Tis because resentment ties

All the terrors of our tongues.

Rome shall perish — write that word

In the blood that she has spilt;

Perish, hopeless and abhorred,
Deep in ruin as in guilt.

1 Boadicea (Bo-ad-I-se'a): widow of a British chief, and queen of one of the tribes of the Britons. The Romans, who had conquered Britain, treated her and her daughter with atrocious cruelty and insult. Boadicea led a revolt against the conquerors of her country, and though at first successful was finally defeated, and, according to some accounts, killed at Battle Bridge, in what is now North London, A.D. 62.

2 Druid: a name of uncertain origin, though sometimes derived from drus, an oak, given to a priest of the ancient Britons. The Druids were also the poets, teachers, and historians of the people.

Rome, for empire far renowned,
Tramples on a thousand states;
Soon her pride shall kiss the ground-
Hark! the Gaul1 is at her gates!

Other Romans shall arise,

Heedless of a soldier's name;

Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize,
Harmony the path to fame.

Then the progeny that springs

From the forests of our land,
Armed with thunder,2 clad with wings,

Shall a wider world command.4

Regions Cæsar never knew

Thy posterity shall sway;
Where his eagles 5 never flew,
None invincible as they.

Such the bard's prophetic words,
Pregnant with celestial fire,
Bending as he swept the chords

Of his sweet but awful lyre.

1 Gaul: the Gauls, or inhabitants of France, did not attack Rome or invade Roman territory in Italy after 284 B.C. The city finally fell through the invasion of the northern barbarians. Here, Gaul may be used in a general sense for any uncivilized people.

2 Thunder: the thunder of firearms, especially cannon.

8 Wings: alluding to the sails of ships.

4 Wider world command: Britain became the greatest exploring, conquering, and colonizing nation on the globe; but as the ancient Britons were in great measure killed off or driven into Wales and Cornwall by the Saxons in the fifth century, they can hardly be said to have had much part in this movement.

5 Eagles: alluding to the figure of the eagle on the Roman war-standards.

She, with all a monarch's pride,
Felt them in her bosom glow:
Rushed to battle, fought, and died;
Dying, hurled them at the foe.

Ruffians, pitiless as proud,

Heaven awards the vengeance due; Empire is on us bestowed,

Shame and ruin wait for you.


« ZurückWeiter »