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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.
But, hark! the cry is Astur:
And lo! 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.
Aunus, from green Tifernum,
Lord of the Hill of Vines ;
Sicken in Ilva's mines ;
Vassal in peace and war, Who led to fight his Umbrian powers From that gray crag where, girt with towers, The fortress of Nequinum lowers
O'er the pale waves of Nar.
Stout Lartius hurled down Aunus
Into the stream beneath ; Herminius struck at Seius,
And clove him to the teeth ; At Picus brave Horatius
Darted one fiery thrust, And the proud Umbrian's gilded arms
Clashed in the bloody dust.
He smiled on those bold Romans,
A smile serene and high ;
And scorn was in his eye.
Stand savagely at bay ; But will ye dare to follow, If Astur clears the
?" 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.
Then Ocnus of Falerii
Rushed on the Roman three; And Lausulus of Urgo,
The rover of the sea ; And Aruns of Volsinium,
Who slew the great wild boar, The great wild boar that had his den Amidst the reeds of Cosa's fen, And wasted fields, and slaughtered men,
Along Albinia's shore.
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, The good sword stood a hand breadth out
Behind the Tuscan's head.
Herminius smote down Aruns ;
Lartius laid Ocnus 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-accursèd sail !”
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.
On Astur's throat Horatius
Right firmly pressed his heel, And thrice and four times tugged amain,
Ere he wrenched out the steel. And “See," he cried, “the welcome,
Fair guests, that waits you here ! What noble Lucumo comes next
To taste our Roman cheer?"
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 at his haughty challenge
A sullen murmur ran, Mingled with wrath and shame and dread,
Along that glittering van.
There lacked not men of prowess,
Nor men of lordly race, For all Etruria's noblest
Were round the fatal place.
But when they turned their faces,
And on the farther shore
They would have crossed once more ;
But all Etruria's noblest
Felt their hearts sink to see On the earth the bloody corpses,
In the path the dauntless three; And from the ghastly entrance,
Where those bold Romans stood, All shrank, -- like boys who, unaware, Ranging the woods to start a bare, Come to the mouth of the dark lair Where, growling low, a fierce old bear
Lies anidst bones and blood.
But with a crash like thunder
Fell every loosened beanı, 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.
Was none who would be foremost
To lead such dire attack ; But those behind cried “ Forward !"
And those before cried “Back !" And backward now and forward
Wavers the deep array ;
Dies fitfully away.
Strode out before the crowd ;
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."
Alone stood brave Horatius,
But constant still in mind, Thrice thirty thousand foes before,
And the broad flood behind. “Down with him !" cried false Sextus,
With a smile on his pale face ; “Now yield thee,” cried Lars Porsena,
“Now yield thee to our grace!”
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.
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 Palatinus
The white porch of his home; And he spake to the noble river
That rolls by the towers of Rome :
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 !”
“O Tiber! Father Tiber !
To whom the Romans pray,
Take thou in charge this day!
The good sword by his side, And, with his harness on his back,
Plunged headlong in the tide.
Back darted Spurius Lartius,
Herminius darted back ; And, as they passed, beneath their feet
They felt the timbers crack.
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 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 inolten inage,
And set it up on high,
To witness if I lie.
My voice is still for war. Gods ! can a Roman senate long debate Which of the two to choose, slavery or death? No; let us rise at once, gird on our swords, And at the head of our remaining troops Attack the foe, break through the thick array Of his thronged legions, and charge home upon
him. Perhaps some arm, more lucky than the rest, May reach his heart, and free the world from
bondage. Rise ! Fathers, rise ! 't is Rome demands your
help: Rise, and revenge her slaughtered citizens, Or share their fate! The corpse rf half he
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.
CANADA NOT LAST.
My silver streets that never wear by change
Know I can soothe thee, please and marry thee
I smile immortal, while the mortals flee
Though Italy were all fair skies to me,
This ancient, modern, medieval queen-
Imperial ruin and villa's princely scene
They reign in robes of magic round me here;
With spell more silent, only pleads a tear.
I see the fields, I see the autumn hand
With weird, translucent glories, ye that stand
On hills that lift from iron bases grand
WILLIAM Douw LIGHTHALL.