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Show you sweet Cæsar's wounds-poor, poor dumb mouths!
And bid them speak for me. But, were I Brutus,
And Brutus, Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny!..
WILLIAM TELL IN WAIT FOR GESSLER.
Here thro' this deep defile he needs must pass.
There leadis no other road to Küssnacht: here
I'll do it-the opportunity is good.
Yon alder tree stands well for my concealment.
Thence my avenging shaft will surely reach him;
The straightness of the path forbids pursuit.
Now, Gessler, balance thine account with Heaven!
Thou must away from earth--thy sand is run.
I led a peaceful, inoffensive life;
My bow was bent on forest game alone,. . '
And my pure soul was free from thoughts of murder.
But thou hast scared me from my dream of peace ;
The milk of human kindness thou hast turned
To rankling poison in my breast, and made
Appalling deeds familiar to my soul.
He who could make his own child's head his mark,
Can speed his arrow to his foeman's heart.
My children dear, my loved and faithful wife,
Must be protected, tyrant, from thy fury !
When last I drew my bow, with trembling hand,
And thou, with murderous joy, a father forced
To level at his child—when all in vain,
Writhing before thee, I implored thy mercy,
Then, in the agony of my soul, I vowed
A fearful oath, which met God's ear alone,
That when my bow next winged an arrow's flight
Its aim should be thy heart. The pow I made
Amid the hellish torments of that moment
I hold a sacred debt, and I will pay it."
Thou art, my lord, my Emperor's delegate,
Yet would the Emperor not have stretched his power
So far as thou. He sent thee to these Cantons
To deal forth law-stern law-for he is angered;
But not to wanton with unbridled will
In every cruelty with fiend-like joy-
There is a God to punish and avenge.
Well, I am watching for a noble prey
Does not the huntsman, with severest toil,
Roam for whole days amid the winter's cold,
Leap with a daring bound from rock to rock,
And climb the jagged, slippery steeps, to which
His limbs are glued by his own streaming blood
And all this but to gain a wretched chamois ?
A far more precious prize is now my aim-
The heart of that dire foe who would destroy me.
From my first years of boyhood I have used
Tho bow_been practised in the archer's feats;
The bull's eye many a time my shafts have hit,
And many a goodly prize have I brought home,
Won in the game of skilt. This day I'll make
My master-shot, and win the highest prize
Within the whole circumference of the mountains.
Come forth, thou bringer once of bitter pangs,
[Draws an arrow from his belt.]
My procious jewel now-my chiefest treasure-
A mark I'll set thee, which the cry of grief
Could never penetrate—but thou shalt pierce it;
And thou, my trusty bow-string, that so oft
Has served me faithfully in sportive scenes,
Desert me not in this most serious hour;
Only be true this once, my own good cord,
Thou hast so often winged the biting shaft;
For shouldst thou fly successless from my hand,
I have no second to send after thee.
" Why is the forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome ?" "Claimed as a slave, a free born maid is dragged here from her home. On fair Virginia Claudius has cast his eye of blighi; The tyrant's creature, Marcus, asserts an owner's right. Oh, shame on Roman manhood! Was ever plot more clear ? But look! the maiden's father comes! Behold Virginius here!"
Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside,
To where the reeking shambles stood, piled up with horn and hide;
Hard by a butcher on a block had laid his whittle down-
Virginius caught the whittle up and hid it his gown.
And then his eyes grew very dim and his throat began to swell,
And in a hoarse, changed voice he spake, “ Farewell, sweet child,
The house that was the happiest within the Roman walls-
The house that' envied not the wealth of Capua's marble halls-
Now, for the brightness of thy smile, must have eternal gloom..
And, for the music of thy voice, the silence of the tomb.
The time is come. The tyrant points his eager hand this way!
See how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the prey!
With all his wit he little deems, that spurned, betrayed, bereft,
Thy father hath, in his despair, one fearful refuge left ;
He little deems that in this hand I clutch what still can save
Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, the portion of the slave;
Yea, and from nameless evil, that passeth taunt and blow-
Foul outrage, which thou knowest not—which thou shalt never know.
Then clasp me round the neck once more, and give me one more kiss
And now mine own dear little girl there is no way but this !".
With that he lifted high the steel and smote her in the side,
And in her blood she sank to earth, and with one sob she died.
Then, for a little moment all people held their breath,
And through the crowded Forum was stillness as of death ;
And in another moment broke forth from one and all
A cry as if the Volscians were coming o'er the wall:
Till with white lips and bloodshot eyes Virginius tottered nigh,
And stood before the judgment seat, and held the knife on high.
"O dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain,
By this dear blood I cry to you, do right between us twain;
And e'en as Appius Claudius hath dealt by me and mine, ,
Deal you by Appius Claudius and all the Claudian line!"
So spake the slayer of his child; then, where the body lay,
Pausing, he cast one haggard glance. and turned and went his way.
Then up sprang Appius Claudius : “Stop him alive or dead !
Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his head !".
He looked upon his clients--but none would work his will;
He looked upon his lictors-but they trembled and stood still.
And as Virginus through the press his way in silence cleft,
Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left.
And he hath passed in safety unto his woeful home,
And there ta’en horse to tell the camp what deeds are done in Roma
E. C. STEDMAN.
Our good steeds snuff the evening air,
Our pulses with their purpose tingle .
The foeman's fires are twinkling there;
He leaps to hear our sabres jingle!'
Each carbine send its whizzing ball:
Now cling! clang I forward all
Into the fight!
Dash on beneath the smoking dome,
Though level lightnings gallop nearer !
One look to heaven! No thoughts of home:
The guidons that we bear are dearer.
Cling! clang ! forward all!
Heaven help those whose horses fall!
Cut left and right!
They flee before our fierce attack !
They fall, they spread in broken surges..!
Now, comrades, bear our wounded back,
And leave the foeman to his dirges.
The bugles sound the swift recall:
Cling! clang I backward all!
Home, and good night!
HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT
1 sprang to the stirrup, and Joris and he ;
I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;
"Good speed!” cried the watch, as the gate-bolts undrew!
"Speed I" echoed the wall to us galloping through;
Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,
And into the midnight we galloped abreast.
Not a word to each other; we kept the great pace
Neck by neck, stride for stride, never changing our place,
I turned in my saddle and made its girths tight,
Then shortened each stirrup, and set the pique right,
Rebuckled the check-strap, chained slacker the bit-
Nor galloped less steadily Roland, a whit.
'Twas moonset at starting; but while we drew near
Lokéren, the cocks crew and twilight dawned clear;
At Boom, a great yellow star came out to see;
At Duffeld, 'twas morning as plaid as could be;
And from Mecheln church steeple we heard the half chime,
So Joris broke silence with “ Yet there is time!"
At Aerschot up leaped of a sudden the sun,
And against him the cattle stood black every one,
To stare thro' the mist at us galloping past;
And I saw my stout galloper Roland at last,
With resolute shoulders each butting away
The haze, as some bluff river headland its spray.