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Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,

With all the speed you may ;
I, with two more to help me,

Will hold the foe in play.
In yon straight path a thousand

May well be stopped by three.
Now, who will stand on either hand

And keep the bridge with me?Then out spake Spurius Lartius —

A Rhamnian proud was he — “Lo, I will stand on thy right hand

And keep the bridge with thee.” And out spake strong Herminius —

Of Tatian blood was he — “I will abide on thy left side

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. For Romans, in Rome's quarrel,

Spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife nor limb nor life,

In the brave days of old. Meanwhile the Tuscan army,

Right glorious to behold, Came flashing back the noonday light, Rank behind rank, like surges bright

Of a broad sea of gold.

Four hundred trumpets sounded

A peal of warlike glee, As that great host, with measured tread, And spears advanced and ensigns spread, Rolled slowly toward the bridge's head,

Where stood the dauntless three.

The three stood calm and silent,

And looked upon their foes, And a great shout of laughter

From all the vanguard rose. But soon Etruria's noblest

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

In the path the dauntless three!
Meanwhile the 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. But when they turned their faces,

And on the further 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.

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 pałe face ; “ Now yield thee !” cried Lars Porsena,

“Now yield thee to our grace.”

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.

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

They saw his crest appear,
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry,
And even the ranks of Tuscany

Could scarce forbear to cheer.

“Out on him!” quoth false Sextus ;

6. Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day

We should have sacked the town!" “ Heaven help him!” quoth Lars Porsena,

“And bring him safe to shore; For such a gallant feat of arms

Was never seen before.”

And now the ground he touches,

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 croud.



1. Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given victory unto Syria : he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.

2. And the Syrians had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my Lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! then would he recover him of his leprosy.

And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.

3. And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, And now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have sent Naaman, my servant, to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.

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