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And our good father Tiber Bare bravely up his chin.
“Curse on him?” quoth false Sextus;
“Will not the villain drown 3
But for this stay, ere close of day
We should have sack'd 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 he feels the bottom ;
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 crowd.
They gave him of the corn-land,
That was of public right,
As much as two strong oxen
Could plough from morn till night;
And they made a molten image,
And set it up on high,
And there it stands unto this day
To witness if I lie.
It stands in the Comitium,
Plain for all folk to see;
Horatius in his harness,
Halting upon one knee:
And underneath is written,
In letters all of gold,
How valiantly he kept the bridge
In the brave days of old.
And still his name sounds stirring
Unto the men of Rome,
As the trumpet blast that cries to them
To charge the Volscian home;
And wives still pray to Juno
For boys with hearts as bold
As his who kept the bridge so well
In the brave days of old.
And in the nights of winter,
When the cold north winds blow,
And the long howling of the wolves
Is heard amidst the snow;
When round the lonely cottage
Roars loud the tempest's din,
And the good logs of Algidus
Roar louder yet within;
When the oldest cask is opened,
And the largest lamp is lit,
When the chestnuts glow in the embers,
And the kid turns on the spit;
When young and old in circle
Around the firebrands close ;
When the girls are weaving baskets,
And the lads are shaping bows;
When the goodman mends his armour,
And trims his helmet's plume;
When the goodwife's shuttle merrily
Goes flashing through the loom;
With weeping and with laughter Still is the story told,
How well Horatius kept the bridge In the brave days of old.
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 vines,
Oh 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,
Bejoyous in our joy,
For cold, and stiff, and still are they
Who wrought thy walls annoy.
Hurrah! hurrah! a single field
Hath turn'd the chance of war,
Hurrah! hurrah! for Ivry,
And King Henry of Navarre!
Oh! how our hearts were beating,
When, at the dawn of day,
We saw the army of the league
Drawn out in long array;
With all its priest-led citizens,
And all its rebel peers,
And Appenzel's stout infantry,
And Egmont's Flemish spears.
There rode the brood of false Lorraine,
The curses of our land 1
And dark Mayenne was in the midst,
A truncheon in his hand;
And, as we look'd on them, we thought
Of Seine's empurpled flood,
And good Coligni's hoary hair
All dabbled with his blood;
And we cried unto the living God,
Who rules the fate of war,
To fight for his own holy name,
And Henry of Navarre.
The king is come to marshal us,
In all his armour drest,
And he has bound a snow-white plume
Upon his gallant crest.
He look'd upon his people,
And a tear was in his eye;
He look'd upon the traitors,
And his glance was stern and high.
Right graciously he smiled on us,
As roll'd from wing to wing,
Down all our line, in deafening shout,
“God save our lord, the king.”
“And if my standard-bearer fall,
As fall full well he may—
For never saw I promise yet
Of such a bloody fray—
Press where ye see my white plume shine,
Amidst the ranks of war,
And be your oriflamme, to-day,
The helmet of Navarre.”
Hurrah! the foes are moving !
Hark to the mingled din
Of fife, and steed, and trump, and drum,
And roaring culverin
The fiery Duke is pricking fast
Across Saint Andre's plain,
With all the hireling chivalry
Of Guelders and Almayne.
Now by the lips of those ye love,
Fair gentlemen of France,
Charge for the golden lilies now,
Upon them with the lance!
A thousand spurs are striking deep,
A thousand spears in rest,
A thousand knights are pressing close
Behind the snow-white crest;
And in they burst, and on they rush'd,
While, like a guiding star,
Amidst the thickest carnage blazed
The helmet of Navarre.
Now, God be praised, the day is ours!
Mayenne hath turn'd his rein.
D'Aumale hath cried for quarter-
The Flemish Count is slain.
Their ranks are breaking like thin clouds
Before a Biscay gale;
The field is heap'd with bleeding steeds,
And flags, and cloven mail;
And then we thought on vengeance,
And all along our van,
“Remember St. Bartholomew,”
Was pass'd from man to man;
But out spake gentle Henry,
“No Frenchman is my foe;
Down, down with every foreigner;
But let your brethren go.”
Oh! was there ever such a knight,
In friendship or in war,
As our sovereign lord, King Henry,
The soldier of Navarrel
Ho! maidens of Vienne !
Ho! matrons of Lucerne !
Weep, weep, and rend your hair for those
Who never shall return.
Ho! Philip, send, for charity,
Thy Mexican pistoles,
That Antwerp monks may sing a mass
For thy poor spearmen's souls:
Ho! gallant nobles of the League
Look that your arms be bright!
Ho! burghers of St. Genevieve,
Keep watch and ward to-night!
For our God hath crush'd thy tyrant,
Our God hath raised the slave,
And mock'd the counsel of the wise
And the valour of the brave.
Then glory to his holy name
From whom all glories are:
And glory to our sovereign lord,
King Henry of Navarre.
Of bench and woolsack, tub and chair,
We'll build a glorious pyre,
And tons of rebel parchment there
Shall crackle in the fire.
With them shall perish, cheek by jowl,
Petition, psalm, and libel,
The colonel's canting muster-roll,
The chaplain's dog-ear'd Bible.
We'll tread a measure round the blaze
Where England's pest expires,
And lead along the dance's maze
The beauties of the friars:
Then smiles in every face shall shine,
And joy in every soul.
Bring forth, bring forth the oldest wine,
And crown the largest bowl.
And as with nod and laugh ye sip
The goblet's rich carnation,
Whose bursting bubbles seem to tip
The wink of invitation;
Drink to those names, those glorious names,—
Those names no time shall sever,
Drink, in a draught as deep as Thames,
Our church and king for ever!
Attend all ye who list to hear
Our noble England's praise!
I tell of the thrice famous deeds
She wrought in ancient days,
When that great fleet invincible
Against her bore in vain,
The richest spoils of Mexico,
The stoutest hearts of Spain.
It was about the lovely close
Of a warm summer day,
There came a gallant merchant-ship
Full sail to Plymouth Bay;
Her crew had seen Castile's black fleet
Beyond Aurigny's Isle,
At earliest twilight, on the waves,
Lie heaving many a mile;
At sunrise she escaped their van,
By God's especial grace;
And the tall Pinta, till the noon,
Had held her close in chase.
Forthwith a guard at every gun
Was placed along the wall;
The beacon blazed upon the roof
Of Edgecombe's lofty hall,
And many a fishing-bark put out,
To pry along the coast,
And with loose rein and bloody spur,
Rode inland many a post.
With his white hair unbonneted, The stout old Sheriff comes;
Behind him march the halberdiers, Before him sound the drums;
His yeomen round the market-cross
Make clear an ample space,
For there behoves him to set up
The standard of her grace.
And haughtily the trumpets peal,
And gayly dance the bells,
As slow upon the labouring wind
The royal blazon swells.
Look how the lion of the seas
Lifts up his ancient crown,
And underneath his deadly paw
Treads the gay lilies down
So stalk'd he when he turn'd to flight,
On that famed Picard field,
Bohemia's plume, Genoa's bow,
And Caesar's eagle shield;
So glared he when at Agincourt
In wrath he turn'd to bay,
And crush'd and torn beneath his claws
The princely hunters lay.
Ho! strike the flag-staff deep, Sir Knight, L
Ho! scatter flowers, fair maids—
Ho! gunners, fire a loud salute—
Ho! gallants, draw your blades;
Thou sun, shine on her joyously;
Ye breezes, waft her wide;
Our glorious Semper eadem—
The banner of our pride.
The freshening breeze of eve unfurl’d
That banner's massy fold—
The parting gleam of sunshine kiss'd
That haughty scroll of gold;
Night sank upon the dusky beach,
And on the purple sea—
Such night in England ne'er had been,
Nor e'er again shall be.
From Eddystone to Berwick bounds,
From Lynn to Milford Bay,
That time of slumber was as bright
And busy as the day;
For swift to east and swift to west,
The warning radiance spread—
High on St. Michael's Mount it shone—
It shone on Beachy Head.
Far on the deep the Spaniard saw,
Along each southern shire,
Cape beyond cape, in endless range,
Those twinkling points of fire;
The fisher left his skiff to rock
On Tamar's glittering waves,
The rugged miners pour'd to war
From Mendip's sunless caves.
O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks,
The fiery herald flew ; -
He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge,
The rangers of Beaulieu.
Right sharp and quick the bells all night
Rang out from Bristol town,
And ere the day three hundred horse
Had met on Clifton down;
The sentinel on Whitehall Gate
Look'd forth into the night,
And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill
The streak of blood-red light.
Then bugle's note and cannon's roar
The death-like silence broke,
And with one start, and with one cry,
The royal city woke.
At once on all her stately gates
Arose the answering fires;
At once the wild alarum clash'd
From all her reeling spires;
From all the batteries of the Tower,
Peal’d loud the voice of fear;
And all the thousand masts of Thames
Sent back a louder cheer;
And from the farthest wards was heard
The rush of hurrying feet,
And the broad streams of flags and pikes
Dash'd down each roaring street;
And broader still became the blaze,
And louder still the din,
As fast from every village round
The horse came spurring in :
And eastward straight, from wild Blackheath,
The warlike errand went,
And roused in many an ancient hall,
The gallant 'squires of Kent.
Southward from Surrey's pleasant hills,
Flew those bright couriers forth;
High on bleak Hempstead's swarthy moor,
They started for the north;
And on, and on, without a pause,
Untired they bounded still;
All night from tower to tower they sprang—
They sprang from hill to hill,
Till the proud Peak unfurl’d the flag
O'er Darwin's rocky dales—
Till like volcanoes flared to heaven,
The stormy hills of Wales—
Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze
On Malvern's lonely height,
Till stream'd in crimson on the wind
The Wrekin's crest of light—
Till broad and fierce the star came forth
On Ely's stately fane,
And tower and hamlet rose in arms
O'er all the boundless plain—
Till Belvoir's lordly terraces
The sign to Lincoln sent,
And Lincoln sped the message on,
O'er the wide vale of Trent—
Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burn’d
On Gaunt's embattled pile,
And the red glare on Skiddaw roused
The burghers of Carlisle!