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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
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!”
Wavers the deep array ;
Dies fitfully away.
Strode out before the crowd ;
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,
Take thou in charge this day!"
The good sword by his side,
Plunged headlong in the tide.
But meanwhile axe and lever
Have manfully been plied ;
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
And now he feels the bottom;
Now on dry earth he stands Now round him throng the Fathers
To press his gory hands ;
And noise of weeping loud,
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,
To witness if I lie.
SEMPRONIUS'S SPEECH FOR WAR.
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.
CANADA NOT LAST.
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
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
Chough Italy were all fair skies to me,
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-
Imperial ruin and villa's princely scene
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.
WILLIAM Douw LIGHTHALL.
“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
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.