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There lacked not men of prowess,

Nor men of lordly race, For all Etruria's noblest

Were round the fatal place.

But when they turned their faces,

And on the farther shore
Saw brave Horatius stand alone,

They would have crossed once more ;

But with a crash like thunder

Fell every loosened beam, And, like a dam, the mighty wreck

Lay right athwart the stream ; And a long shout of triumph

Rose from the walls of Rome, As to the highest turret-tops

Was splashed the yellow foam.

But all Etruria's noblest

Felt their hearts sink to see On the earth the bloody corpses,

In the path the dauntless three ; And from the ghastly entrance,

Where those bold Romans stood, All shrank, – like boys who, unaware, Ranging the woods to start a hare, Come to the mouth of the dark lair Where, growling low, a fierce old bear

Lies amidst bones and blood. Was none who would be foremost

To lead such dire attack ; But those behind cried “Forward !”

And those before cried “ Back!”
And backward now and forward

Wavers the deep array ;
And on the tossing sea of steel
To and fro the standards reel,
And the victorious trumpet-peal

Dies fitfully away.
Yet one man for one moment

Strode out before the crowd ;
Well known was he to all the three,

And they gave him greeting loud : “Now welcome, welcome, Sextus !

Now welcome to thy home! Why dost thou stay, and turn away?

Here lies the road to Rome."

And like a horse unbroken,

When first he feels the rein, The furious river struggled hard,

And tossed his tawny mane, And burst the curb, and bounded,

Rejoicing to be free; And whirling down, in fierce career, Battlement and plank and pier,

Rushed headlong to the sea.

Alone stood brave Horatius,

But constant still in mind, Thrice 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 !”

Thrice looked he at the city ;

Thrice looked he at the dead ; And thrice came on in fury,

And thrice turned back in dread; And, white with fear and hatred,

Scowled at the narrow way Where, wallowing in a pool of blood,

The bravest Tuscans lay.

Round turned he, as not deigning

Those craven ranks to see ; Naught spake he to Lars Porsena,

To Sextus naught 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,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms,

Take thou in charge this day!"
So he spake, and, speaking, sheathed

The good sword by his side,
And, with his harness on his back,

Plunged headlong in the tide.

But meanwhile axe and lever

Have manfully been plied ;
And now the bridge hangs tottering

Above the boiling tide. Come back, come back, Horatius!"

Loud cried the Fathers all, “ Back, Lartius ! back, Herminius!

Back, ere the ruin fall !” Back darted Spurius Lartius,

Herminius darted back; And, as they passed, beneath their feet

They felt the timbers crack.

No sound of joy or sorrow

Was heard from either bank, But friends and foes in dumb surprise, With parted lips and straining eyes,

Stood gazing where he sank ; And when above the surges

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And now he feels the bottom;

Now on dry earth he stands Now round him throng the Fathers

To press his gory hands ;
And now, with shouts and clapping,

And noise of weeping loud,
He enters through the River-gate,

Borne by the joyous crowd.

They gave him of the corn-land,

That was of public right, As much as two strong oxen

Could plough from morn till night; And they made a molten image,

And set it up on high,
And there it stands unto this day

To witness if I lie.


FROM "CATO," ACT 11. sc. I. My voice is still for war. Gods ! can a Roman senate long debate Which of the two to choose, slavery or death? No; let us rise at once, gird on our swords, And at the head of our remaining troops Attack the foe, break through the thick array Of his thronged legions, and charge home upon

him. Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest, May reach his heart, and free the world from

bondage. Rise ! Fathers, rise ! 't is Rome demands your

help: Rise, and revenge her slaughtered citizens, Or share their fate! The corpse of half he!


It stands in the Comitium,

Plain for all folk to see, Horatius in his harness,

Halting upon one knee ; And underneath is written,

In letters all of gold, How valiantly he kept the bridge

In the brave days of old.



AT VENICE. Lo! Venice, gay with color, lights and song, Calls from St. Mark's with ancient voice and

strange: I am the Witch of Cities! glide along My silver streets that never wear by change

years : forget the years, and pain, and wrong, And every sorrow reigning men among.

Know I can soothe thes, please and marry thee To my illusions. Old and siren strong,

I smile immortal, while the mortals flee
Who whiten on to death in wooing me.


Say, what more fair by Arno's bridgèd gleam

Than Florence,vicwed from San Miniato's slope At eventide, when west along the stream

The last of day reflects a silver hope! Lo, all else softened in the twilight beam : – The city's mass blent in one hazy cream,

The brown Dome 'midst it, and the Lily tower, And stern Old Tower more near, and hills that

Afar, like clouds to fade, and hills of power
On this side greenly dark with cypress, vine

and bower.

End of desire to stray I feel would come

Chough Italy were all fair skies to me,
Thugh France's fields went mad with flowery

fam And Blanc put on a special majesty, Not all could match the growing thought of home Nor tempt to exile. Look I not on Rome

This ancient, modern, medieval queen-
Yet still sigh westward over hill and dome,

Imperial ruin and villa's princely scene
Lovely with pictured saints and marble gods


REFLECTION. Rome, Florence. Venice — noble, fair and quaint,

They reign in robes of magic round me heie; But fading, blotted, dim, a picture faint,

With spell more silent, only pleads a tear. Plead not! Thou hast my heart, O picture dim!

I see the fields, I see the autumn hand Of God upon the maples! Answer Him

With weird, translucent glories, ye that stand Like spirits in scarlet and in amethyst ! I see the sun break over you: the mist

On hills that list from iron bases grand Their heads superb! — the dream, it is my native land.


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“O World-God, give me Wealth !” the “O World-God, give me Power!” the Egyptian cried.

Roman cried. His prayer was granted. High as heaven His prayer was granted. The vast world behold

was chained Palace and Pyramid; the brimming tide A captive to the chariot of his pride. Of lavish Nile washed all his land with The blood of myriad provinces was drained gold.

To feed that fierce, insatiable red heart Armies of slaves toiled ant-wise at his feet, Invulnerably bulwarked every part World-circling traffic roared through mart With serried legions and with close-meshed and street,

Code. His priests were gods, his spice-balmed Within, the burrowing worm had gnawed kings enshrined

its home: Set death at naught in rock-ribbed char- A roofless ruin stands where once abode nels deep.

The imperial race of everlasting Rome. Seek Pharaoh's race to-day, and ye shall

find Rust and the moth, silence and dusty sleep.

"O God-head, give me Truth !" the He

brew cried.

His prayer was granted. He became the “O World-God, give me Beauty!” cried slave the Greek.

Of the Idea, a pilgrim far and wide, His prayer was granted. All the earth be- Cursed, hated, spurned, and scourged with

none to save. Plastic and vocal to his sense ; each peak, The Pharaohs knew him, and when Greece Each grove, each stream, quick with Pro beheld, methean flame,

His wisdom wore the hoary crown of Eld. Peopled the world with imaged grace and Beauty he hath forsworn, and wealth and light.

power. The lyre was his, and his the breathing Seek him to-day, and find in every land. might

No fire consumes him, neither floods deDf the immortal marble, his the play

vour; Of diamond-pointed thought and golden Immortal through the lamp within his tongue.

hand. Go seek the sunshine race. Ye find to-day A broken column and a lute unstrung.



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