Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

With brutal voice and oath profane,
The startled boy, for exile's chain !

The mother sprang with gesture wild,
And to her bosom clasped her child ;
Then, with pale cheek and flashing eye,
Shouted, with fearful energy,
“ Back, ruffians, back ! nor dare to tread
Too near the body of my

dead !
Nor touch the living boy. I stand
Between him and your lawless band !
Take me, and bind these arms, these hands,
With Russia's heaviest iron bands,
And drag me to Siberia's wild,
To perish, if ’t will save my child !”

' Peace, woman, peace !” the leader cried,
Tearing the pale boy from her side,
And in his ruffian grasp he bore
His victim to the temple door.
“One moment !” shrieked the mother, “one !
Will land or gold redeem my son ?
Take heritage, take name, take all,
But leave him free from Russian thrall !
Take these!” And her white arms and hands
She stripped of rings and diamond bands,
And tore from braids of long black hair
The gems that gleamed like starlight there.
Her cross of blazing rubies, last
Down at the Russian's feet she cast.

He stooped to seize the glittering store ;
Upspringing from the marble floor
The mother, with a cry of joy,
Snatched to her leaping heart the boy !

[merged small][graphic]

But the brave child is roused at length,
And, breaking from the Russian's hold,
He stands, a giant in the strength
Of his young spirit fierce and bold.
Proudly he towers; his flashing eye
So blue, and yet so bright,
Seems kindled from the eternal sky,
So brilliant is its light.
His curling lips and crimson cheeks
Foretell the thought before he speaks.
With a full voice of proud command
He turns upon the wondering band :
“Ye hold me not! no, no, nor can !
This hour has made the boy a man.
I knelt beside my slaughtered sire,
Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire.
I wept upon his marble brow,
Yes, wept ! I was a child ; but now
My noble mother on her knee
Has done the work of years for me!”

He drew aside his broidered vest,
And there, like slumbering serpent's crest,
The jewelled haft of poniard bright
Glittered a moment on the sight.
“Ha! start ye back ? Fool ! coward ! knave !
Think ye my noble father's glaive
Would drink the life-blood of a slave?
The pearls that on the handle flame
Would blush to rubies in their shame;
The blade would quiver in thy breast,
Ashamed of such ignoble rest.
No! thus I rend the tyrant's chain,
And fling him back a boy's disdain !"

A moment, and the funeral light
Flashed on the jeweled weapon bright;
Another, and his young heart's blood
Leaped to the floor, a crimson flood !
Quick to his mother's side he sprang,
And on the air his clear voice rang :
“ Up, mother, up! look on thy son !
His freedom is forever won !
And now he waits one holy kiss
To bear his father home in bliss ;
One last embrace, one blessing, -- one!
To prove thou know'st, approv'st, thy son.
What! silent yet? Canst thou not feel
My warm blood o'er thy heart congeal?
Speak, mother, speak ! lift up thy head !
What! silent still? Then art thou dead !
Great God! I thank thee! Mother, I
Rejoice with thee and thus — to die ! !”
One long, deep breath, and his pale head
Lay on his mother's bosom — dead !

VI. - AMERICAN BATTLE-FLAGS.

CARL SCHURZ.

CARL SCHURZ, an American statesman and orator, was born at Lihlar, near Cologne, in Germany, March 2, 1829. Taking an earnest part in the revolutionary movements of '48 and '49, he was forced to leave his native country, and went successively to Switzerland, Paris, and England. He came to this country in 1852. He first attracted attention as an orator, in the German language, in the Presidential campaign of 1856. He took a leading part in the convention which nominated Mr. Lincoln for the Presidency, and in the canvass which followed he was a very effective speaker in the language of his adopted country.

After Mr. Lincoln's election, he was appointed minister to Spain, but returned to the United States, December, 1861, and entered the military service as brigadier-general of volunteers. He served with distinction throughout the war.

In 1869 he was chosen United States Senator from Missouri. He has taken a very

conspicuous part in the deliberations of the Senate. He is a philosophical thinker, as well as an eloquent speaker. His speeches show a mind of much originality and acuteness, and he never addresses the Senate without careful preparation.

The following extract is from his eulogy on Charles Sumner, delivered before the city authorities of Boston.

In defending the course of Mr. Sumner in moving a resolution that the names of the battles in the civil war should be removed from the regimental colors of the army and the army register, Mr. Schurz defends the course of Mr. Sumner by a reference to parallel examples in history. The battle of the Boyne was fought July 1, 1690, between William the Third, at the head of a confederate army of English and Dutch, and the French and Irish under James the Second. The result was the defeat of James and his flight into France. The battle of Culloden was fought April 16, 1764, between the English troops, commanded by the Duke of Cumberland, and the Scotch Highlanders, led by Prince Charles Edward.

The latter were entirely defeated and the rebellion suppressed.

La Vendée is the name of a department in France in which a Royalist insurrection against Republican France broke out in 1793 and continued until 1796, with great loss of life on both sides.

At Villagos a Hungarian army under Görgey surrendered at discretion to the Austrians and Russians, August 13, 1849. The battle of Koniggratz was fought July 2, 1866, between the Prussians under the flag of the Black Eagle, and the Austrians and Hanoverians, in which the latter were wholly defeated. The battle of Langensalza was fought June 27, 1866, the result of which was that the Austrians and Hanoverians were defeated by the Prussians and obliged to capitulate. The battle of Gravelotte was fought between the Prussians and their allies on the one side, and the French on the other, August 16, 1870, in which the latter were defeated after a desperate and bloody conflict.

FROM

TROM Europe Mr. Sumner returned late in the fall

of 1872, much strengthened, but far from being well. At the opening of the session he reintroduced two measures, which, as he thought, should complete the record of his political life. One was his civil-rights bill, which had failed in the last Congress; and the other, a resolution providing that the names of the battles won over fellow-citizens in the war of the Rebellion should be removed from the regimental colors of the army, and from the army register.

It was in substance only a repetition of a resolution which he had introduced ten years before, in 1862, during the war, when the first names of victories were put on American battle-flags. This resolution called forth a new storm against him. It was denounced as an insult

« PředchozíPokračovat »