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Take me, and bind these arms, these hands,
With Russia's heaviest iron bands,
And drag me to Siberia's wild
To perish, if 't will save my child !”

“Peace, woman, peace!" the leader cried,

Tearing the pale boy from her side,
And in his russian grasp he bore

His victim to the temple door. “One moment!” shrieked the mother; "one!

Will land or gold redeem my son ?
Take heritage, take name, take all

But leave him free from Russia's thrall !
Take these!” and her white arms and hands
She stripped of rings and diamond bands,
And tore from braids of long black hair
The gems that gleamed like starlight there;
Her cross of blazing rubies, last,
Down at the Russian's feet she cast.
He stooped to seize the glittering store;-
Up springing from the marble floor,
The mother, with a cry of joy,
Snatched to her leaping heart the boy.
But no! The Russian's iron grasp
Again undid the mother's clasp.
Forward she fell, with one long cry
Of more than mortal agony.

But the brave child is roused at length,

And, breaking from the Russian's hold, He stands, a giant in the strength

Of his young spirit, fierce and bold.
Proudly he towers; his flashing eye,

So blue, and yet so bright,
Seems kindled from the eternal sky,

So brilliant is its light.
His curling lips and crimson cheeks
Foretell the thought before he speaks;



With a full voice of proud command

He turned upon the wondering band: “ Ye hold me not! no! no, nor can;

This hour has made the boy a man.
I knelt before my slaughtered sire,
Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire.
I wept upon his marble brow,
Yes, wept! I was a child; but now
My noble mother, on her knee,
Hath done the work of years for me!"
He drew aside his broidered vest,
And there, like slumbering serpent's crest,
The jeweled haft of poniard bright
Glittered a moment on the sight.
“Ha! start ye back? Fool! coward! knave!

Think ye my noble father's glaive
Would drink the life-blood of a slave ?
The pearls that on the handle flame,
Would blush to rubies in their shame;
The blade would quiver in thy breast
Ashamed of such ignoble rest.
No! thus I rend the tyrant's chain,
And fling him back a boy's disdain!”

A moment, and the funeral light
Flashed on the jeweled weapon bright;
Another, and his young heart's blood
Leaped to the floor, a crimson flood.
Quick to his mother's side he sprang,

And on the air his clear voice rang:
“Up, mother, up! I'm freel I'm free!

The choice was death or slavery.
Up, mother, up! Look on thy son!
His freedom is forever won;
And now he waits one holy kiss
To bear his father home in bliss,
One last embrace, one blessing-one!
To prove thou know'st, approv'st thy son.

What! silent yet? Canst thou not feel
My warm blood o'er thy heart congeal ?
Speak, mother, speak! lift up thy head!
What! silent still ? Then art thou dead!

-Great God, I thank thee! Mother, I
Rejoice with thee,--and thus—to die.”
One long, deep breath, and his pale head
Lay on his mother's bosom,—dead.



O THE charge at Balaklava!

O that rash and fatal charge!
Never was a fiercer, braver,
Than that charge at Balaklava,

On the battle's bloody marge!
All the day the Russian columns,

Fortress huge, and blazing banks, Poured their dread destructive volumes

On the French and English ranks,

On the gallant allied ranks !
Earth and sky seemed rent asunder
By the loud incessant thunder!
When a strange but stern command-
Needless, heedless, rash command-
Came to Lucan's little band, -
Scarce six hundred men and horses

Of those vast contending forces:-
“ England 's lost unless you save her!
Charge the pass at Balaklava!”

O that rash and fatal charge,
On the battle's bloody marge!

Far away the Russian Eagles

Soar o'er smoking hill and dell, And their hordes, like howling beagles,

Dense and countless, round them yell !



Thundering cannon, deadly mortar,
Sweep the field in every quarter!
Never, since the days of Jesus,
Trembled so the Chersonesus!

Here behold the Gallic Lilies--
Stout St. Louis' golden Lilies-
Float as erst at old Ramillies !
And beside them, lo! the Lion!

With her trophied Cross, is flying!
Glorious standards !—shall they waver
On the field of Balaklava ?
No, by Heavens! at that command-
Sudden, rash, but stern command-
Charges Lucan's little band !

Brave Six Hundred! lo! they charge,
On the battle's bloody marge !

Down yon deep and skirted valley,

Where the crowded cannon play, -
Where the Czar's fierce cohorts rally,
Cossack, Calmuck, savage Kalli, –

Down that gorge they swept away!
Down the new Thermopylæ,
Flashing swords and helmets see!
Underneath the iron shower,

To the brazen cannon's jaws,
Heedless of their deadly power,

Press they without fear or pause, —

To the very cannon's jaws! Gallant Nolan, brave as Roland

At the field of Roncesvalles,

Dashes down the fatal valley,
Dashes on the bolt of death,
Shouting with his latest breath,
Charge, then, gallants! do not waver,
Charge the pass at Balaklava!”

O that rash and fatal charge,
On the battle's bloody marge!

Now the bolts of volleyed thunder
Rend the little band asunder,
Steed and rider wildly screaming,

Screaming wildly, sink away;
Late so proudly, proudly gleaming,

Now but lifeless clods of clay,

Now but bleeding clods of clay!
Never since the days of Jesus,
Saw such sight the Chersonesus!
Yet your remnant, brave Six Hundred,
Presses onward, onward, onward,

Till they storm the bloody pass, –
Till, like brave Leonidas,

They storm the deadly pass !
Sabring Cossack, Calmuck, Kalli,
In that wild shot-rended valley, -
Drenched with fire and blood, like lava,
Awful pass at Balaklava!

O that rash and fatal charge,
On that battle's bloody marge!


For now Russia's rallied forces,
Swarming hordes of Cossack horses,
Trampling o'er the reeking corses,

Drive the thinned assailants back,
Drive the feeble remnant back,

O'er their late heroic track!
Vain, alas! now rent and sundered,
Vain your struggles, brave Two Hundred !
Thrice your number lie asleep,
In that valley dark and deep.
Weak and wounded you retire
From that hurricane of fire, -
That tempestuous storm of fire,--
But no soldiers firmer, braver,

Ever trod the field of fame,
Then the Knights of Balaklava, -

Honor to each hero's name!

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