Imágenes de páginas

And see the lightning lances driven, When strive the warriors of the storm, And rolls the thunder-drum of Heaven, Child of the Sun! to thee 't is given

To guard the banner of the free;
To hover in the sulphur smoke,
To ward away the battle-stroke;
And bid its blendings shine afar,
Like rainbows on the cloud of war,

The harbingers of victory!

Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
The sign of hope and triumph high.
When speaks the signal trumpet tone,
And the long line comes gleaming on,
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet,
Has dimmed the glistening bayonet,-
Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn
To where thy sky-born glories burn;
And, as his springing steps advance,
Catch war and vengeance from the glance.
And, when the cannon-mouthings loud
Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud,
And gory sabres rise and fall
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall,
Then shall thy meteor glances glow,

And cowering foes shall fall beneath
Each gallant arm that strikes below


[ocr errors]

That lovely messenger of death.
Flag of the seas! on ocean's wave
Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave.
When Death, careering on the gale,
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail,
And frighted waves rush wildly back,
Before the broadside's reeling rack,
Each dying wanderer of the sea
Shall look at once to Heaven and thee;
And smile to see thy splendors fly,
In triumph, o'er his closing eye.

Flag of the free heart's hope and home!
By angel hands to Valor given!
Thy stars have lit the welkin dome,

And all thy hues were born in Heaven.
Forever float that standard sheet !

Where breathes the foe but falls before us, With Freedom's soil beneath our feet,

And Freedom's banner streaming o'er us?

46. TO THE AMERICAN TROOPS BEFORE THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND, 1776.— General George Washington. Born, 1732; died, 1799.

THE time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die.

Our own, our country's honor, calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us, then, rely on the goodness of our cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us; and we shall have their blessings and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us, therefore, animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

Liberty, property, life and honor, are all at stake. Upon your courage and conduct rest the hopes of our bleeding and insulted country. Our wives, children and parents, expect safety from us only; and they have every reason to believe that Heaven will crown with success so just a cause. The enemy will endeavor to intimidate by show and appearance; but remember they have been repulsed on various occasions by a few brave Americans. Their cause is bad, their men are conscious of it; and, if opposed with firmness and coolness on their first onset, with our advantage of works, and knowledge of the ground, the victory is most assuredly ours. Every good soldier will be silent and attentive, wait for orders, and reserve his fire until he is sure of doing execution.

47. TO THE ARMY OF ITALY, MAY 15, 1796. —Napoleon Bonaparte. B. 1769 ; d. 1821. Original Translation.

SOLDIERS! You have precipitated yourselves like a torrent from the Apennines. You have overwhelmed or swept before you all that opposed your march. Piedmont, delivered from Austrian oppression, has returned to her natural sentiments of peace and friendship towards France. Milan is yours; and over all Lombardy floats the flag of the Republic. To your generosity only, do the Dukes of Parma and of Modena now owe their political existence. The army which proudly threatened you finds no remaining barrier of defence against your courage. The Po, the Tessino, the Adda, could not stop you a single

day. Those vaunted ramparts of Italy proved insufficient; you trav ersed them as rapidly as you did the Apennines. Successes so numerous and brilliant have carried joy to the heart of your country. Your representatives have decreed a festival, to be celebrated in all the communes of the Republic, in honor of your victories. There, will your fathers, mothers, wives, sisters, all who hold you dear, rejoice over your triumphs, and boast that you belong to them.

Yes, Soldiers, you have done much; but much still remains for you to do. Shall it be said of us that we knew how to conquer, but not to profit by victory? Shall posterity reproach us with having found a Capua in Lombardy? Nay, fellow-soldiers! I see you already eager to cry "to arms!" Inaction fatigues you; and days lost to glory are to you days lost to happiness. Let us, then, begone! We have yet many forced marches to make; enemies to vanquish ; laurels to gather; and injuries to avenge! Let those who have sharpened the poniards of civil war in France, who have pusillanimously assassinated our Ministers, who have burned our vessels at Toulon, - let them now tremble! The hour of vengeance has knolled!


But let not the People be disquieted. We are the friends of every People and more especially of the descendants of the Brutuses, the Scipios, and other great men to whom we look as bright exemplars.. To reestablish the Capitol; to place there with honor the statues of the heroes who made it memorable; to rouse the Roman People, unnerved by many centuries of oppression, such will be some of the fruits of our victories. They will constitute an epoch for posterity. To you, Soldiers, will belong the immortal honor of redeeming the fairest portion of Europe. The French People, free and respected by the whole world, shall give to Europe a glorious peace, which shall indemnify it for all the sacrifices which it has borne, the last six years. Then, by your own firesides you shall repose; and your fellowcitizens, when they point out any one of you, shall say: "He belonged to the army of Italy!”

48. LORD BYRON TO THE GREEKS. — Alphonse De Lamartine.

Original Translation.

A STRANGER to your clime, O men of Greece! - born under a sun less pure, of an ancestry less renowned, than yours,- I feel how unworthy is the offering of the life I bring you- you, who number kings, heroes and demi-gods, among your progenitors. But, throughout the world, wherever the lustre of your history has shed its rays, -wherever the heart of man has thrilled at the thought of glory, or softened at the mention of misfortune, Greece may count a friend, and her children an avenger. I come not here in the vain hope to stimulate the courage of men already roused and resolved. One sole cry remained for you, and you have uttered it. Your language has now one only word Liberty! Ah! what other invocation need

the men of Sparta - of Athens to bid them rise? These blue Heavens, these mountains, these waters, here are your oratorshere is your present Demosthenes! Wherever the eye can range, wherever the feet can tread, your consecrated soil recounts a triumph or a glorious death. From Leuctra to Marathon, every inch of ground responds to you—cries to you- for vengeance! liberty! glory! virtue! country! These voices, which tyrants cannot stifle, demand, not words, but steel. 'Tis here! Receive it! Arm! Let the thirsting earth at length be refreshed with the blood of her oppressors! What sound more awakening to the brave than the clank of his country's fetters? Should the sword ever tremble in your grasp, remember yesterday! think of to-morrow!

For myself, in return for the alliance which I bring you, I ask but the recompense of an honorable grave. I ask but the privilege of shedding my blood with you, in your sacred cause. I ask but to know, in dying, that I too belong to Greece- to liberty! Yes, might the Pilgrim hope that, on the pillars of a new Parthenon, his name might, one day, be inscribed, or, that in the nobler mausoleum of your hearts his memory might be cherished, he were well content. The tomb where Freedom weeps can never have been prematurely reached by its inmate. Such martyrdom is blessed, indeed. What higher fortune can ambition covet?

[ocr errors]

49. BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE, 1809. -Rev. Charles Wolfe.
Nor a drum was heard, not a funeral note,

As his corse to the rampart we hurried;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot

O'er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly, at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
By the struggling moonbeams' misty light,
And the lantern dimly burning.

No useless coffin enclosed his breast,

Nor in sheet, nor in shroud, we wound him;
But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.

Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow,

That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow!

Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him ;

But little he 'll reck, if they let him sleep on,
where a Briton has laid him!

In the grave
But half of our heavy task was done,

When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
And we heard the distant and random gun,
That the foe was sullenly firing.

Slowly and sadly we laid him down,

From the field of his fame, fresh and gory! We carved not a line, we raised not a stone, But we left him alone with his glory!

50. THE BATTLE OF HOHENLINDEN, 1800. — Thomas Campbell.

ON Linden when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.

But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,
Each warrior drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neighed,
To join the dreadful revelry.

Then shook the hills with thunder riven,
Then rushed the steeds to battle driven,
And louder than the bolts of Heaven
Far flashed the red artillery.

And redder yet those fires shall glow
On Linden's hills of blood-stained snow;
And darker yet shall be the flow
Of Iser rolling rapidly.

'Tis morn; but scarce yon lurid sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun,
While furious Frank and fiery Hun

Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory, or the grave!
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave'

And charge with all thy chivalry'

« AnteriorContinuar »