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To see them live, torn from your arms, distained,
Dishonored; and, if ye dare call for justice,
Be answered by the lash! Yet, this is Rome,
That sate on her seven hills, and from her throne
Of beauty ruled the world! Yet, we are Romans.
Why, in that elder day, to be a Roman
Was greater than a King! And once again
Hear me, ye walls, that echoed to the tread
Of either Brutus ! once again I swear
The Eternal City shall be free!
36. THE PATRIOT'S PASS-WORD. — James Montgomery. The noble voluntary death of the Switzer, Winkelried, is accurately described in the following verses. In the battle of Shempach, in the fourteenth century, this martyr-patriot, perceiving that there was no other means of breaking the heavy-armed lines of the Austrians than by gathering as many of their spears as he could grasp together, opened, by this means, a passage for his fellow-combatants, who, with hammers and hatchets, hewed down the mailed men-at-arms, and won the victory.
“ MAKE way for liberty!” he cried, –
Made way for liberty, and died !
In arms the Austrian phalanx stood,
A living wall, a human wood;
Impregnable their front appears,
All horrent with projected spears.
Opposed to these, a hovering band
Contended for their father-land ;
Peasants, whose new-found strength had broke
From manly necks the ignoble yoke ;
Marshalled once more at Freedom's call,
They came to conquer or to fall.
And now the work of life and death
Hung on the passing of a breath ;
The fire of conflict burned within;
The battle trembled to begin;
Yet, while the Austrians held their ground,
Point for assault was nowhere found;
Where'er the impatient Switzers gazed,
The unbroken line of lances blazed;
That line 't were suicide to meet,
And perish at their tyrants' feet.
How could they rest within their graves,
To leave their homes the haunts of slaves ?
Would they not feel their children tread,
With clanking chains, above their head ?
It must not be; this day, this hour,
Annihilates the invader's power!
All Switzerland is in the field,
She will not fly; she cannot yield ;
She must not fall; her better fate
Here gives her an immortal date.
Few were the numbers she could boast;
freeman was a host,
And felt as 't were a secret known
That one should turn the scale alone;
While each unto himself was he
On whose sole arm hung Victory.
It did depend on one, indeed ;
Behold him, — Arnold Winkelried !
There sounds not to the trump of Fame
The echo of a nobler name.
Unmarked, he stood amid the throng,
In rumination deep and long,
Till you might see, with sudden grace,
The very thought come o'er his face;
And, by the motion of his form,
Anticipate the bursting storm;
And, by the uplifting of his brow,
Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.
was no sooner thought than done,
The field was in a moment won !
way for liberty !” he cried,
Then ran, with arms extended wide,
As if his dearest friend to clasp;
he swept within his grasp.
“ Make way for liberty!” he cried ;
Their keen points crossed from side to side;
He bowed amongst them, like a tree,
And thus made way for liberty.
Swift to the breach his comrades fly,
for liberty!” they cry,
And through the Austrian phalanx dart,
As rushed the spears through Arnold's heart;
While, instantaneous as his fall,
Rout, ruin, panic, seized them all:
An earthquake could not overthrow
A city with a surer blow.
Thus Switzerland again was free;
Thus Death made way for liberty!
37. RICHARD TO THE PRINCES OF THE CRUSADE.—Sir Walter Scott. B. 1771; d. 1832.
And is it even so ? And are our brethren at such pains to note the infirmities of our natural temper, and the rough precipitance of our zeal,
have sometimes urged us to issue commands when there was little time to hold council ? I could not have thought that offences,
nasual and unpremeditated, like mine, could find such deep root in the hearts of my allies in this most holy cause, that, for my sake, they should withdraw their hand from the plough when the furrow was near the end; for my sake, turn aside from the direct path to Jerusalem, which their swords have opened. I vainly thought that my small services might have outweighed my rash errors; that, if it were remembered that I pressed to the van in an assault, it would not be forgotten that I was ever the last in the retreat; that, if I elevated my banner upon conquered fields of battle, it was all the advantage I sought, while others were dividing the spoil. I may have called the conquered city by my name, but it was to others that I yielded the dominion. If I have been headstrong in urging bold counsels, I have not, methinks, spared my own blood, or my people's, in carrying them into as bold execution; or, if I have, in the hurry of march or battle, assumed a command over the soldiers of others, such have ever been treated as my own, when my wealth purchased the provisions and medicines which their own sovereigns could not procure.
But it shames me to remind you of what all but myself seem to have forgotten. Let us rather look forward to our future measures; and, believe me, brethren, you shall not find the pride, or the wrath, or the ambition of Richard, a stumbling-block of offence in the path to which religion and glory summon you, as with the trumpet of an archangel ! O, no, no! never would I survive the thought that my frailties and infirmities had been the means to sever this goodly fellowship of assembled princes. I would cut off my left hand with my right, could my doing so attest my sincerity. I will yield up, voluntarily, all right to command in the host even mine own liege subjects. They shall be led by such sovereigns as you may nominate; and their King, ever but too apt to exchange the leader's baton for the adventurer's lance, will serve under the banner of Beauseant among the Templars, - ay, or under that of Austria, if Austria will name a brave man to lead his forces. Or, if ye are yourselves a-weary of this war, and feel your armor chafe your tender bodies, leave but with Richard some ten or fifteen thousand of your soldiers to work out the accomplishment of your vow; and, when Zion is won, - when Zion
we will write upon her gates, not the name of Richard Plantagenet, but of those generous Princes who intrusted him with the means of conquest !
38. THE EARL OF RICHMOND TO HIS ARMY. - Shakspeare..
MORE than I have said, loving countrymen,
The leisure and enforcement of the time
Forbids to dwell on. Yet remember this : -.
God, and our good cause, fight upon our side;
The prayers of holy saints, and wrongéd souls,
Like high-reared bulwarks, stand before our faces.
Richard except, those whom we fight against
Had rather have us win than him they follow.
For what is he they follow? Truly, gentlemen,
A bloody tyrant and a homicide ;
One raised in blood, and one in blood established;
One that made means to come by what he hath,
And slaughtered those that were the means to help him ;
A base, foul stone, made precious by the foil
Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;
One that hath ever been God's enemy.
Then, if you fight against God's enemy,
God will, in justice, guard you as his soldiers ;
If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,
You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain ;
If you do fight against your country's foes,
Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire ;
If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,
Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors ;
If you do free your children from the sword,
Your children's children quit it in your age.
Then, in the name of God and all these rights,
Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.
For me, the ransom of my
Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;
But, if I thrive, the gain of my attempt,
The least of you shall share his part thereof.
Sound drums and trumpets, boldly and cheerfully:
God, and St. George! Richmond and victory!
39. HENRY V. TO HIS SOLDIERS.— Shakspeare.
What’s he that wishes for more men from England ?
My cousin Westmoreland ? No, my fair cousin ;
If we are marked to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honor.
thee do not wish for one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous of gold;
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires :
But if it be a sin to covet honor,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, 'faith, my Lord, wish not a man from England :
I would not lose, methinks, so great an honor,
As only one man more would share from me,
For the best hope I have. 0! do not wish one more :
Rather, proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he, which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse :
We would not die in that man's company,
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian :
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian :
He that outlives this day, and sees old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say — to-morrow is Saint Crispian!
Then will he strip his sleeve, and show his scars.
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, -
Familiar in his mouth as household words, –
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster, -
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son :
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered ;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers :
For he, to-day that sheds his blood with me,
Shall be my brother : be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed,
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here;
And hold their manhoods cheap, while any speaks,
That fought with us upon St. Crispian's day.
40. THE BATTLE OF IVRY. - T. B. Macaulay. Now glory to the Lord of Hosts, from whom all glories are ! And glory to our Sovereign Liege, King Henry of Navarre ! Now let there be the merry sound of music and the dance, Through thy corn-fields green, and sunny vales, O pleasant land of
France ! And thou, Rochelle, our own Rochelle, proud city of the waters, Again let rapture light the eyes of all thy mourning daughters ; As thou wert constant in our ills, be joyous in our joy, For cold and stiff and still are they who wrought thy walls annoy. Hurrah ! hurrah! a single field hath turned the chance of war; Hurrah ! hurrah! for Ivry, and King Henry of Navarre !