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THE DOWNFALL OF POLAND.
Warsaw's last champion 1 from her height surveyed,
Wide o'er the fields, a waste of ruin laid-
"O Heaven !' he cried, 'my bleeding country save!
Is there no hand on high to shield the brave ?
Yet, though destruction sweep those lovely plains,
Rise, fellow-men! our country yet remains !
By that dread name we wave the sword on high,
And swear for her to live !—with her to die!'

110

THE DOWNFALL OF POLAND.

He said, and on the rampart-heights arrayed
His trusty warriors, few, but undismayed ;
Firm-paced and slow, a horrid 2 front they form,
Still as the breeze, but dreadful as the storm;
Low murmuring sounds along their banners 3 fly,
Revenge, or death-the watchword and reply :
Then pealed the notes, omnipotent to charm,
And the loud tocsin 4 tolled their last alarm!

In vain, alas ! in vain, ye gallant few !
From rank to rank your volleyed thunder flew :
O bloodiest picture in the book of Time,
Sarmatia fell,5 unwept, without a crime;
Found not a generous friend, a pitying foe,
Strength in her arms, nor mercy in her woe!
Dropped from her nerveless grasp the shattered spear ;
Closed her bright eye, and curbed her high career;
Hope for a season bade the world farewell,
And. Freedom shrieked-as KOSCIUSKO fell !

6

The sun went down, nor ceased the carnage there,
Tumultuous murder shook the midnight air-
On Prague's? proud arch the fires of ruin glow,
His blood-dyed waters murmuring far below;
The storm prevails, the rampart yields a way,
Bursts the wild cry of horror and dismay !
Hark ! as the smouldering piles with thunder fall,
A thousand shrieks for hopeless mercy call !
Earth shook-red meteors flashed along the sky,
And conscious Nature shuddered at the cry!

O righteous Heaven ! ere Freedom found a grave,
Why slept the sword, omnipotent to save ?
Where was thine

arm, O Vengeance ! where thy rod,
That smote the foes of Zion and of God;
That crushed proud Ammon 8 when his iron car
Was yoked in wrath, and thundered from afar ?
Where was the storm that slumbered till the host
Of blood-stained Pharaoh o left their trembling coast ;

Then bade the deep in wild commotion flow,
And heaved an ocean on their march below ?

Departed spirits of the mighty dead ! Ye that at Marathon and Leuctra 10 bled ! Friends of the world ! restore your swords to man, Fight in his sacred cause, and lead the van ! Yet for Sarmatia's tears of blood atone, And make her arm puissant 11 as your own! Oh ! once again to Freedom's cause return The patriot TELL—the BRUCE OF BANNOCKBURN ! 12

Campbell. 112

1 Warsaw's last champion. When the and ransacked it, massacred its in

infatuated nobility of Poland in- habitants, and reduced it to ashes. voked the aid of Russia, a Lithu- 8 That crushed proud Ammon. See anian named Kosciusko gathered Judges xi. I, and 1 Sam. xi. 1. round him a few patriots, chiefly 9 The host of blood-stained Pharaoh. See ill-armed peasants, and kept at

Exod. xiv, 27. bay for some time a force of 10 Marathon and Leuctra, two cele100,000 Russians. This hero was brated battles of ancient history. at length wounded and taken At Marathon, a village of Greece, prisoner, and with him fell the

about 22 miles from Athens, Polish nation.

I10,000

Persians were totally 2 Korrid, here as in Latin, bristling routed by 10,000 Athenians under (that is, with spears).

Miltiades.-At Leuctra, a small 3 Banners, ranks.

town in Boeotia, Epaminondas, at 4 Tocsin, a signal or alarm bell.

the head of the Thebans, defeated 3 Sarmatia fell. Sarmatia is a term the Spartans under Cleombrotus. applied to Poland.

11 Puissant, powerful. 6 Carbed her high career. Her history 12 The patriot Tell—the Bruce of Bannockas a nation came to an end.

burn.--William Tell, see note 1, 7 Pragae (Praga)—to be distinguished page 85.-Robert Bruce, by the

from Prague, capital of Bohemia memorable victory at Bannock-stands on the Vistula opposite burn; (24th June 1314), rescued Warsaw. The Polish refugees fled Scotland from becoming a mere thither when the Russians took province and dependency of its their capital in 1794. Suwarrow, more powerful southern neighthe victorious general, stormed bour.

BATTLE OF FLODDEN.

BATTLE OF FLODDEN1_DEATH OF JAMES IV.

As they left the dark’ning heath,
More desperate grew the strife of death.
The English shafts 2 in volleys hailed,
In headlong charge their horse 3 assailed :
Front, flank, and rear, the squadrons sweep,
To break the Scottish circle deep,

That fought around their King.
But yet, though thick the shafts as snow,
Though charging knights like whirlwinds go,
Though billmen 4 ply the ghastly blow,

Unbroken was the ring;
The stubborn spearmen still made good
Their dark impenetrable wood,
Each stepping where his comrade stood,

The instant that he fell.
No thought was there of dastard flight;
Linked in the serried phalanx tight,
Groom fought like noble, squire like knight,

As fearlessly and well ;
Till utter darkness closed her wing
O’er their thin host and wounded King.
Then skilful Surrey's 5 sage commands
Led back from strife his shattered bands ;

And from the charge they drew,
As mountain-waves, from wasted lands,

Sweep back to ocean blue.
Then did their loss his foemen know;
Their King, their Lords, their mightiest, low,
They melted from the field as snow-
When streams are swoln and south winds blow-

Dissolves in silent dew.
Tweed's echoes heard the ceaseless plash,

While many a broken band,
Disordered, through her currents dash,

To gain the Scottish land ;
To town and tower, to down and dale,

To tell red Flodden's dismal tale,
And raise the universal wail.
Tradition, legend, tune, and song,
Shall many an age that wail prolong:
Still from the sire the son shall hear
Of the stern strife, and carnage drear,

Of Flodden's fatal field,
Where shivered was fair Scotland's spear,

And broken was her shield !
Day dawns upon the mountain's side:
There, Scotland ! lay thy bravest pride,
Chiefs, knights, and nobles, many a one:
The sad survivors all are gone.
View not that corpse mistrustfully,
Defaced and mangled though it be;
Nor to yon Border castle high
Look northward with upbraiding eye ;

Nor cherish hope in vain,
That journeying far on foreign strand,
The Royal Pilgrim' to his land

May yet return again.
He saw the wreck his rashness wrought;
Reckless of life, he desperate fought,

And fell on Flodden plain :
And well in death, his trusty brand,
Found clenched within his manly hand,

Beseemed the monarch slain.

Scott.

1 The battle of Flodden was fought

September 9, 1513. James IV. of Scotland commanded his own army in person, and the English were under the leadership of the

Earl of Surrey. 2 Shafts, arrows. 8 Horse, cavalry. 4 Billmen, men who fought with bills,

a kind of halberd or battle-axe, formerly used by foot-soldiers.

5 Skilful Surrey, the Earl of Surrey.
6 Down and dale, hill and valley.
7 The Royal Pilgrim ... may yet return.

It was long a belief among the
people of Scotland that James IV.,
seeing the ruin brought on his
country by his obstinacy and reck-
lessness, had made his escape from
the field, and was wandering, by
way of penance, in some foreign
land.

H

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