« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
And now, there breathed that haunted air
As quick, as far as they.
An hour passed on; the Turk awoke;
That bright dream was his last; He woke to hear his sentries shriek, “To arms! They come — the Greek! the Greek!” He woke to die 'mid flame and smoke, And shout, and groan, and sabre-stroke,
And death-shots falling thick and fast
Bozzaris cheer his band :
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, Rest thee! there is no prouder grave,
Even in her own proud clime.
We tell thy doom without a sigh,
LXI.—THE COYOTE OF THE DESERT.
1. The coyote of the farther deserts is a long, slim, sick, and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolf-skin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail, that forever sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a furtive and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip and exposed teeth.
2. He has a general slinking expression all over. The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede. He is so spiritless and cowardly that, even while his exposed teeth are pretending a threat, the rest of his face is apologizing for it. And he is so homely! so scrawny, and ribby, and coarse-haired, and pitiful!
3. When he sees you he lifts his lip and lets a flash of his teeth out, and then turns a little out of the course he was pursuing, depresses his head a bit, and strikes a long, soft-footed trot through the sage-brush, glancing over his shoulder at you from time to time, till he is about out of easy pistol-range, and then he stops and takes a deliberate survey of you. He will trot fifty yards and stop again; another fifty, and stop again; and, finally, the gray of his gliding body blends with the gray of the sage-brush, and he disappears.
4. But, if you start a swift-footed dog after him, you will enjoy it ever so much — especially if it is a dog that has a good opinion of himself, and has been
brought up to think that he knows something about speed. The coyote will go swinging gently off on that deceitful trot of his, and every little while he will smile a fraudful smile over his shoulder that will fill that dog entirely full of encouragement and worldly ambition, and make him lay his head still lower to the ground, and stretch his neck farther to the front, and pant more fiercely, and move his furious legs with a yet wilder frenzy, and leave a broader and broader and higher and denser cloud of desert sand smoking behind, and marking his long wake across the level plain!
5. All this time the dog is only a short twenty feet behind the coyote, and, to save the life of him, he cannot understand why it is that he cannot get perceptibly closer; and he begins to get aggravated, and it makes him madder and madder to see how gently the coyote glides along, and never pants or sweats, or ceases to smile ; and he grows still more and more incensed to see how shamefully he has been taken in by an entire stranger, and what an ignoble swindle that long, calm, soft-footed trot is.
6. And next the dog notices that he is getting fagged, and that the coyote actually has to slacken speed a little, to keep from running away from him. And then that town-dog is mad in earnest, and he begins to strain, and weep, and swear, and paw the sand higher than ever, and reach for the coyote with concentrated and desperate energy.
7. This spurt finds him six feet behind the gliding enemy, and two miles from his friends. And then, in
the instant that a wild new hope is lighting up his face, the coyote turns and smiles blandly upon him once more, and with a something about it which seems to say: —
8. “Well, I shall have to tear myself away from you, but — business is business, and it will not do for me to be fooling along this way all day.” And forthwith there is a rushing sound, and the sudden splitting of a long crack through the atmosphere, and behold, that dog is solitary and alone in the midst of a vast solitude !
S. L. CLEMENS.
LXII. — PIZARRO'S HEROISM.
1. Pizarro and his little band had been sorely tried by the perils they had encountered. They were now experiencing untold miseries on the desolate island of Gallo. They had to endure the pangs of hunger even in a greater degree than they had formerly experienced in the wild woods of the neighboring continent. Their principal food was crabs and such shell-fish as they could scantily pick up along the shores. Incessant storms of thunder and lightning swept over the devoted island and drenched them with a perpetual flood.
2. Thus, half-naked, and pining with famine, there were few in that little company who did not feel the spirit of enterprise quenched within them, or who looked for any happier termination of their difficulties than