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In yon strait path a thousand
May well be stopp'd by three;
And keep the bridge with me ?”
Then outspake Spurius Lartius
A Ramnian proud was he-
And keep the bridge with thee."
And keep the bridge with thee."
“Horatius,” quoth the Consul,
“As thou say'st, so let it be;" And straight against that great array
Forth went the dauntless three.
Spared neither land nor gold,
In the brave days of old.
(2.) THE FALL OF THE BRIDGE.
But meanwhile axe and lever
Have manfully been plied ;
Above the boiling tide.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,
'Twas sad as sad could be ; And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea !
All in a hot and copper sky
The bloody sun, at noon, . Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the moon.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck—nor breath nor motion ; As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.
The very deep did rot !-0 Christ !
That ever this should be !
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue, and white.
YE clouds! that far above me float and pause,
Whose pathless march no mortal may control !
Ye ocean-waves ! that, wheresoe'er ye roll,
Midway the smooth and perilous slope reclined, Save when your own imperious branches, swinging,
Have made a solemn music of the wind !
How oft, pursuing fancies holy,
Inspired beyond the guess of folly, By each rude shape and wild unconquerable sound ! O ye loud waves! and O ye forests high ! And O ye clouds that far above me soar'd ! Thou rising sun ! thou blue rejoicing sky!
Yea, everything that is and will be free !
Bear witness for me, wheresoe'er ye be, With what deep worship I have still adored
The spirit of divinest Liberty.
Why sitt'st thou by that ruin'd hall,
Thou aged carle, so stern and gray ?
Or ponder how it pass'd away?
“ Know'st thou not me?" the deep voice cried,
“So long enjoy'd, so oft misused Alternate, in thy fickle pride;
Desired, neglected, and accused ?
“ Before my breath, like blazing flax,
Man and his marvels pass away ; And changing empires wane and wax,
Are founded, flourish, and decay.
“ Redeem mine hours—the space is brief
While in my glass the sand-grains shiver, And measureless thy joy or grief,
When Time and thou shalt part for ever!"
He is gone to the mountain,
He is lost to the forest,
When our need was the sorest.
From the raindrops shall borrow,
To Duncan no morrow!
The hand of the reaper
Takes the ears that are hoary,
Wails manhood in glory.
“But, see ! look up-on Flodden bent,
And sudden, as he spoke,
Was wreathed in sable smoke.
As down the hill they broke ; Nor martial shout, nor minstrel tone, Announced their march, their tread alone, At times one warning trumpet blown,
At times a stifled hum, Told England, from his mountain-throne
King James did rushing come. — Scarce could they hear, or see their foes, Until at weapon-point they close. — They close, in clouds of smoke and dust, With sword-sway, and with lance's thrust;
And such a yell was there, Of sudden and portentous birth, As if men fought upon the earth