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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 foanı.

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 Sextus,

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; Nought spake he to Lars Porsena,

To Sextus nought 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.

Oh, 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.

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;
And on the tossing sea of steel,
To and fro the standards reel;
And the victorious trumpet-peal
Dies fitfully away.
Yet one man for one moment

Stood 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 foani.

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 Sextus,

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; Nought spake he to Lars Porsena,

To Sextus nought 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.

“Oh, Tiber! father Tiber!

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

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.

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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

Bore 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.

The Expedition of Nadir Shah into Hindostan. 105

THE EXPEDITION OF NADIR SHAH INTO

HINDOSTAN.

ALFRED TENNYSON.

Nadir Shah was the adventurous leader of a gang of robbers who raised himself to the position of Shah of Persia. He conducted a brilliant expedition into Hindostan, where he defeated the Great Mogul and took Delhi. He was assassinated in 1747.

As the hosts of the locusts in numbers, in might,
As the flames of the forest that redden the night,
They approach; but the eye may not dwell on the glare
Of standard and sabre that sparkle in air.

Like the fiends of destruction they rush on their way,
The vulture behind them is wild for his prey;
And the spirits of death, and the demons of wrath,
Wave the gloom of their wings o'er their desolate path.

Earth trembles beneath them, the dauntless, the bold;
Oh! weep for thy children, thou region of gold;
For thy thousands are bowed to the dust of the plain,
And all Delhi runs red with the blood of her slain.

For thy glory is past, and thy splendor is dim,
And the cup of thy sorrow is full to the brim;
And where is the chief in thy realms to abide,
The “Monarch of Nations,” the strength of his pride ?

Like a thousand dark streams from the mountain they

throng,
With the fife and the horn and the war-beating gong:
The land like an Eden before them is fair,
But behind them a wilderness dreary and bare.

The shrieks of the orphan, the lone widow's wail,
The groans of the childless, are loud on the gale;
For the star of thy glory is blasted and wan,
And withered the flower of thy fame, Hindostan !

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