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For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his gods ?

"And for the tender mother

Who dandled him to rest, And for the wife who nurses

His baby at her breast, And for the holy maidens

Who feed the eternal flame, — To save them from false Sextus

That wrought the deed of shame?

"Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul,

With all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me,

Will hold the foe in play.
In yon strait path a thousand

May well be stopped by three: Now who will stand on either hand,

And keep the bridge with me?"

Then out spake Spurius Lartius, —

A Kamnian proud was he: "Lo, I will stand at thy right hand,

And keep the bridge with thee." And out spake strong Herminius, —

Of Titian blood was he: "I will abide on thy left side,

And keep the bridge with thee."

"Horatius," quoth the Consul,

"As thou sayest so let it be." And straight against that great array

Went forth the dauntless three. For Romans in Rome's quarrel

Spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life,

In the brave days of old.

Then none was for a party —

Then all were for the state; Then the great man helped the poor.

And the poor man loved the great; Then lands were fairly portioned!

Then spoils were fairly sold: The Romans were like brothers

In the brave days of old.

Now Roman is to Roman

More hateful than a foe.
And the tribunes beard the high,

And the fathers grind the low.
As we wax hot in faction,

In battle we wax cold;

Wherefore men fight not as they fought In the brave days of old.

Now while the three were tightening

Their harness on their backs, The Consul was the foremost man

To take in hand an axe; And fathers, mixed with commons,

Seized hatchet, bar, and crow, And smote upon the planks above,

And loosed the props below,

Meanwhile the Tuscan army,

Right glorious to behold, Came flashing back the noonday light.

Rank behind rank, like surges bright

Of a broad sea of gold.
Four hundred trumpets sounded

A peal of warlike glee, As that great host with measured tread,

And spears advanced, and ensigns spread,

Rolled slowly towards the bridge's head.

Where stood the dauntless three.

The three stood calm and silent,
And looked upon the foes.

And a great shout of laughter
From all the vanguard rose;

And forth three chiefs came spurring
Before that deep array;

To earth they sprang, their swords they drew,

And lifted high their shields, and flew

To win the narrow way.

Herminius smote down Arans;

Lartius laid Oenus low; Right to the heart of Lausulus

Horatius sent a blow: "Lie there." he cried, "fell pirate!

No more, aghast and pale, From Ostia's walls the crowd shall mark

The track of thy destroying bark:
No more Campania's hinds shall fly
To woods and caverns, when they spy
Thy thrice-accursed sail!"

But now no sound of laughter

Was heard among the foes: A wild and wrathful clamor

From all the vanguard rose. Six spears' length from the entrance,

Halted that mighty mass, And for a space no man came forth

To win the narrow pass.

But, hark! the cry is Astur:

And lol the ranks divide; And the great lord of Luna

Comes with his stately stride. Upon his ample shoulders

Clangs loud the fourfold shield, And in his hand he shakes the brand

Which none but he can wield.

He smiled on those bold Romans,

A smile serene and high;
He eyed the flinching Tuscans,

And scorn was in his eye.
Quoth he, "The she-wolf's litter

Stands savagely at bay; But will ye dare to follow.

If Astur clears the way?"

Then, whirling up his broadsword
With both hands to the height,

He rushed against Horatius,
And smote with all his might.

With shield and blade Horatius
Right deftly turned the blow.

The blow, though turned, came yet too nigh;

It missed his helm, but gashed his thigh.

The Tuscans raised a joyful cry
To see the red blood flow.

He reeled, and on Herminius

He leaned one breathing-space, Then, like a wild-cat mad with wounds,

Sprang right at Astur's face. Through teeth and skull and helmet

So fierce a thrust he sped, [out The good sword stood a handbreadth

Behind the Tuscan's head.

And the great lord of Luna
Fell at that deadly stroke.

As falls on Mount Avernus
A thunder-smitten oak.

Far o'er the crashing forest
The giant arms lie spread;

And the pale augurs, muttering low,
Gaze on the blasted head.

Yet one man for one moment

Strode out before the crowd; Well known was he to all the Three,

And they gave him greeting loud: "Now welcome, welcome, Sextus!

Now welcome to thy home! Why dost thou stay, and turn away?

Here lies the road to Rome."

Thrice looked he at the city;

Thrice looked he at the dead; And thrice came on in fury,

And thrice turned back in dread; And, white with fear and hatred,

scowled at the narrow way Where, wallowing in a pool of blood

The bravest Tuscans lay.

But meanwhile axe and lever

Have manfully been plied; And now the bridge hangs tottering

Above the boiling tide. "Come back, come back, Horatius!"

Loud cried the Fathers all — "Back, Lartius! back, Herminius!

Back, ere the ruin fall!"

Back darted Spurius Lartius —

Herminius darted back; And, as they passed, beneath their feet

They felt the timbers crack.
But when they turned their faces,

And on the farther shore
Saw brave Horatius stand alone,

They would have crossed once more;

But with a crash like thunder

Fell every loosened beam, And, like a dam, the mighty wreck

Lay right athwart the stream; And a long shout of triumph

Rose from the walls of Rome, As to the highest turret-tops

Was splashed the yellow foam.

And like a horse unbroken.
When first he feels the rein,

The furious river struggled hard,
And tossed his tawny mane,

And burst the curb, and bounded,
Rejoicing to be free;

And whirling down, in fierce career,

Battlement, and plank, and pier,
Rushed headlong to the sea.

Alone stood brave Horatius,
But constant still in mind —

Thrice thirty thousand foes before,
And the broad flood behind.

"Down with him!" cried false

With a smile on his pale face: "Now yield thee," cried Lars Porsena,

"Now yield thee to our grace!"

Round turned he, as not deigning

Those craven ranks to see: Naught spake he to Lars Porsena,

To Sextus naught spake he; But he saw on Palatums

The white porch of his home; And he spake to the noble river

That rolls by the towers of Rome:

"O Tiber! Father Tiber!

To whom the Romans pray,
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms.

Take thou in charge this day!"
So he spake, and, speaking, sheathed

The good sword by his side, And, with his harness on his back,

Plunged headlong in the tide.

No sound of joy or sorrow

Was heard from either bank. But friends and foes in dumb surprise,

With parted lips and straining eyes,
Stood gazing where he sank;

And when above the surges
They saw his crest appear,

All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry,

And even the ranks of Tuscany
Could scarce forbear to cheer.

But fiercely ran the current,
Swollen high by months of rain;

And fast his blood was flowing;
And he was sore in pain,

And heavy with his armor.

And spent with changing blows;

And oft they thought him sinking,
But still again he rose.

Never, I ween, did swimmer,

In such an evil case, Struggle through such a raging flood

Safe to the landing-place; But his limbs were borne up bravely

By the brave heart within, And our good father Tiber

Bare bravely up his chin.

"Curse on him!" quoth false Sextus—

"Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day

We should have sacked 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.

George Macdonald.


Where did you come from, baby dear?

Out of the everywhere into here.

Where did you get those eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through.

What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? Some of the starry spikes left in.

Where did you get that little tear? I found it waiting when I got here.

What makes your forehead so smooth

and high? A soft hand stroked it as I went by.

What makes your cheek like a warm

white rose? I saw something better than any one


Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss?

Three angels gave me at once a kiss.

Where did you get this pearly ear? God spoke, and it came out to hear.

Where did you get those arms and hands?

Love made itself into bonds and bands.

Feet, whence did you come, you darling things?

From the same box as the cherub's wings.

How did they all just come to be you?

God thought about me, and so I grew,

But how did you come to us, you dear?

God thought about you, and so I am here.


O Lassie ayont the hill!
Come ower the tap o' the hill,
Or roun' the neuk o' the hill,
For I want ye sair the nicht,
I'm needin' ye sair the nicht,
For I'm tired and sick o' lnysel',
A body's sel' 's the sairest weicht,—
O lassie, come ower the hill!

Gin a body could be a thocht o' grace,
And no a sel' ava!

I'm sick o' my heid, and my han's

and my face,
An' my thoughts and mysel' and a';
I'm sick o' the warl' and a';
The licht gangs by wi' a hiss;
For thro' my een the sunbeams fa',
But my weary heart they miss.

0 lassie ayont the hill!
Come ower the tap o' the hill,
Or roun' the neuk o' the hill;
Bidena ayont the hill!

For gin ance I saw yer bonnie heid,
And the sunlicht o' yer hair.
The ghaist o' mysei' wad fa' doun

I wad be mysel' nae mair.
I wad be mysel' nae mair.
Filled o' the sole remeid;

Slain by the arrows o' licht frae yer hair,

Killed by yer body and heid.

0 lassie ayont the hill, etc.

But gin ye loved me ever sae sma', For the sake o' my bonnie dame, Whan I cam' to life, as she gaed awa',

I could bide my body and name,

I might bide by mysel, the weary

same; Aye setting up its heid Till I turn frae the claes that cover

my frame, As gin they war roun' the deid. O lassie ayont the hill, etc.

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Open the gates of the Temple; Spread branches of palm and of bay;

Let not the spirits of nature

Alone lieck the Conqueror's way. While Spring from her death-sleep arises,

And joyous His presence awaits, While morning's smile lights up the heavens, Open the Beautiful Gates.

He is here! The long watches are over,

The stone from the grave rolled away;

"We shall sleep," was the sigh of the midnight, "We shall rise!" is the song of today.

O Music! no longer lamenting.

On pinions of tremalom flams, Go soaring to meet the Beloved,

And swell the new song of His

The altar is snowy with blossoms,
The font is a vase of perfume,

On pillar and chancel are twining
Fresh garlands of eloquent bloom.

Christ is risen! with glad lips we utter,

And far up the infinite height, Archangels the paean re-echo, And crown Him with Lilies of Light!


Only waiting till the shadows

Are a little longer grown, Only waiting till the glimmer

Of the day's last beam is flown; Till the night of earth is faded

From this heart once full of day, Till the dawn of Heaven is breaking

Through the twilight soft and gray.

Only waiting till the reapers

Have the last sheaf gathered home. For the summer-time hath faded,

And the autumn winds are come. Quickly, reapers! gather quickly,

The last ripe hours of my heart, For the bloom of life is withered,

And I hasten to depart.

Only waiting till the angels

Open wide the mystic gate, At whose feet I long have lingered,

Weary, poor, and desolate. Even now I hear their footsteps

And their voices far away — If they call me, I am waiting,

Only waiting to obey.

Only waiting till the shadows

Are a little longer grown — Only waiting till the glimmer

Of the day's last beam is flown. When from out the folded darkness

Holy, deathless stars shall rise, By whose light, my soul will gladly

Wing her passage to the skies.

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