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True as the steel of their tried blades,
Heroes in heart and hand.
On old Platæa's day;
As quick, as far, as they.
An hour passed on — the Turk awoke;
That bright dream was his last:
And death shots falling thick and fast
Bozzaris cheer his band:
Strike for your altars and your fires!
God, and your native land!”
They fought, like brave men, long and well,
They piled the ground with Moslem slain;
Bleeding at every vein.
And the red field was won;
Like flowers at set of sun.
Come to the bridal chamber, Death!
Come to the mother when she feels,
Come when the blessed seals
With banquet song and dance and wine-
Of agony, are thine!
But to the hero, when his sword
Has won the battle for the free,
The thanks of millions yet to be.
Bozzaris! with the storied brave
Greece nurtured in her glory's time,
Even in her own proud clime.
We tell thy doom without a sigh;
That were not born to die.
HELPS FOR STUDY
What inspired Halleck to write this poem?
Explain “with the storied brave Greece nurtured in her glory's time."
13 Suliote band. Natives of Suli, a mountainous district in Albania.
18 Platæq's day. This is a reference to a battle fought at Platæa, a city of Baotia, Greece, about thirty miles northwest of Athens. In the battle, which occurred 497 B. C., the Greeks were victorious over the Persians.
38 Moslem. Mohammedans. The Turks were members of this faith.
Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, was born January 25, 1759, in a small, clay-built cottage, about a mile and a half south of Ayr. His father had to struggle all his life with poverty and misfortune, but he made every exertion to give his children a good education. Robert was sent to school at the age of six, and by the time he was nine he had read with enthusiasm every book that came in his way, especially poetry. His first volume of poems was published in 1786, and had a wonderful success. His brief life of thirty-seven years was one continued struggle, yet he was able to give to literature some of its most precious jewels. He died at Dumfries, Scotland, July 21, 1796.
Scots, who have with Wallace bled,
Or to victory!
Chains and slavery!
Who will be a traitor knave?
Let him turn and flee!
Let him on with me!
HELPS FOR STUDY
What is meant by “Scots, who have with Wallace bled?”
Why would “proud Edward's power" bring “chains and slavery" to the Scots?
Who are told to "turn and flee”?
“Bruce's Address” is an extract from “Bannockburn,” a poem in which Burns gives the supposed address of Robert Bruce to his army at the Battle of Bannockburn. This was the most famous battle in Scottish history. Thirty thousand Scots, commanded by Bruce, overwhelmingly defeated the English army, one hundred thousand strong, under Edward II.
1 Wallace. Sir William Wallace, born about 1274, an early Scotch patriot and liberator, who took a leading part in the wars fought between England and Scotland. He was finally betrayed into the hands of his enemies and taken to London, when he was executed August 23, 1305.
2 Bruce. Robert Bruce, born July 11, 1274, a famous king of Scotland, and one of the national heroes of the country. He died at Cardross, Scotland, June 7, 1329.
The Cotter's Saturday Night
To Mary in Heaven