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Had not yet filled her horns, when, by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills,
Rushed, like a torrent, down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow, and quiver full of arrows,
Hovered about the enemy, and marked
The road he took; then hasted to my friends;
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
Till we o'ertook the spoil-encumbered foe.
We fought—and conquered! Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow from my bow had pierced their chief,
Who wore, that day, the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdained
The shepherd's slothful life; and, having heard
That our good king had summoned his bold peers
To lead their warriors to the Carron side,
I left my father's house, and took with me
A chosen servant to conduct my steps:-
Yon trembling coward, who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent, I passed these towers,
And, heaven-directed, came this day, to do
The happy deed, that gilds my humble name.
SHERIDAN KNOWLES'S "WILLIAM TELL."
YE crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first beheld,
To show you they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,
And bid your tenant welcome to his home
Again! O sacred forms, how proud you look!
How high you lift your heads into the sky!
How huge you look! how mighty and how free!
How do you look for all your bared brows
More gorgeously majestical than kings,
Whose loaded coronets exhaust the mines!
Ye are the things that tower, that shrine-whose smile
Makes glad-whose frown is terrible-whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine-whose subject never kneels
In mockery, because it is your boast
To keep him free! Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again! I hold my hands to you
To show they still are free! I rush to you
As though I could embrace you!
Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow,
O'er the abyss. His broad expanded wings
Lay calm and motionless upon the air,
As if he floated there without their aid,
By the sole act of his unlorded will
That buoyed him proudly up.-Instinctively
I bent my bow-yet kept he rounding still
His airy circle, as in the delight
Of measuring the ample range beneath
And round about: absorbed, he heeded not
The death that threatened him-I could not shoot, 'Twas liberty!-I turned my bow aside
The land was free!-O with what pride I used
To walk these hills, and look up to my God,
And bless Him that it was so!-It was free!-
From end to end, from cliff to lake, 'twas free!—
Free as our torrents are, that leap our rocks,
And plough our valleys, without asking leave;
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow,
In very presence of the regal sun!
How happy was I in it then!-I loved
Its very storms!-Yes, Emma, I have sat
In my boat at night, when, down the mountain gorge
The wind came roaring,-sat in it, and eyed
The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled
To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head,
And think I had no master, save his own!
You know the jutting cliff, round which a track
Up hither winds, whose base is but the brow
To such another one?-O'ertaken there
By the mountain blast, I've laid me flat along;
And while gust followed gust more furiously,
As if to sweep me o'er the horrid brink,
And I have thought of other lands, whose storms
Are summer-flaws to those of mine, and just
Have wished me there-the thought that mine was free
Has checked that wish, and I have raised my head,
And cried, in thraldom, to that furious wind,
Blow on! This is the land of liberty!
SHAKESPEARE'S "JULIUS CESAR."
WELL, honour is the subject of my story.-
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life; but, for my single self,
I had as lief not be as live to be
In awe of such a thing as I myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you:
We both have fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
Cæsar said to me, "Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point?"-Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow: so, indeed, he did.
The torrent roared; and we did buffet it
With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cried, "Help me, Cassius, or I sink!"
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
Did I the tired Cæsar: and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body,
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake: 't is true, this god did shake:
His coward lips did from their colour fly;
And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
Alas! it cried "Give me some drink, Titinius,"
As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,
Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about
To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus and Cæsar: What should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with them,
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he is grown so great?-Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,
That her wide walls encompassed but one man?
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once that would have brooked
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.
HOTSPUR'S DESCRIPTION OF A FOP.
SHAKESPEARE'S "HENRY IV." First Part.
My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
But I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dressed,
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reaped,
Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home;
He was perfumed like a milliner;
And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
He gave his nose, and took 't away again;