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And see the lightning lances driven, When strive the warriors of the storm, And rolls the thunder-drum of Heaven, – Child of the Sun to thee 'tis given To guard the banner of the free; To hover in the sulphur smoke, Toward away the battle-stroke; And bid its blendings shine afar, Like rainbows on the cloud of war, The harbingers of victory!
Flag of the brave! thy folds shall fly,
Flag of the seas' on ocean's wave
Flag of the free heart's hope and home !
46. To THE AMERICAN TRoops BFFORE THE BATTLE OF LONG ISLAND, 1776. – General George Washington. Born, 1732; died, 1799.
THE time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own; whether their houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and themselves consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver them. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of this army. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die.
Our own, our country's honor, calls upon us for a vigorous and manly exertion; and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us, then, rely on the goodness of our cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions. The eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us; and we shall have their blessings and praises, if happily we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny meditated against them. Let us, therefore, animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a freeman contending for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.
Liberty, property, life and honor, are all at stake. Upon your courage and conduct rest the hopes of our bleeding and insulted country. Our wives, children and parents, expect safety from us only; and they have every reason to believe that Heaven will crown with success so just a cause. The enemy will endeavor to intimidate by show and appearance; but remember they have been repulsed on various occasions by a few brave Americans. Their cause is bad, their men are conscious of it; and, if opposed with firmness and coolness on their first onset, with our advantage of works, and knowledge of the ground, the victory is most assuredly ours. Every good soldier will be silent and attentive, wait for orders, and reserve his fire until he is sure of doing execution.
47. TO THE ARMY OF ITALY, MAY 15, 1796. —Napoleon Bonaparte. B. 1769; d. 1821. Original Translation.
SoLDIERs' You have precipitated yourselves like a torrent from the Apennines. You have overwhelmed or swept before you all that opposed your march. Piedmont, delivered from Austrian oppression, has returned to her natural sentiments of peace and friendship towards France. Milan is yours; and over all Lombardy floats the flag of the Republic. To your generosity only, do the Dukes of Parma and of Modéna now owe their political existence. The army which proudly threatened you finds no remaining barrier of defence against your courage. The Po, the Tessino, the Adda, could not stop you a single day. Those vaunted ramparts of Italy proved insufficient; you traversed them as rapidly as you did the Apennines. Successes so numerous and brilliant have carried joy to the heart of your country.
Your representatives have decreed a festival, to be celebrated in all the communes of the Republic, in honor of your victories. There, will your fathers, mothers, wives, sisters, all who hold you dear, rejoice over your triumphs, and boast that you belong to them.
Yes, Soldiers, you have done much ; but much still remains for you to do. Shall it be said of us that we knew how to conquer, but not to profit by victory Shall posterity reproach us with having found a Capúa in Lombardy ? Nay, fellow-soldiers' I see you already eager to cry “to arms ' " Inaction fatigues you; and days lost to glory are to you days lost to happiness. Let us, then, begone ! We have yet many forced marches to make ; enemies to vanquish; laurels to gather; and injuries to avenge | Let those who have sharpened the poniards of civil war in France, who have pusillanimously assassinated our Ministers, who have burned our vessels at Toulon, — let them now tremble ! The hour of vengeance has knolled !
But let not the People be disquieted. We are the friends of every People: and more especially of the descendants of the Brutuses, the Scipios, and other great men to whom we look as bright exemplars. To reestablish the Capitol; to place there with honor the statues of the heroes who made it memorable; to rouse the Roman People, unnerved by many centuries of oppression, — such will be some of the fruits of our victories. They will constitute an epoch for posterity. To you, Soldiers, will belong the immortal honor of redeeming the fairest portion of Europe. The French People, free and respected by the whole world, shall give to Europe a glorious peace, which shall indemnify it for all the sacrifices which it has borne, the last six years. Then, by your own firesides you shall repose; and your fellowcitizens, when they point out any one of you, shall say: “He belonged to the army of Italy "
A straNGER to your clime, O men of Greece — born under a sum less pure, of an ancestry less renowned, than yours, – I feel how unworthy is the offering of the life I bring you — you, who number kings, heroes and demi-gods, among your progenitors. But, throughout the world, wherever the lustre of your history has shed its rays, —wherever the heart of man has thrilled at the thought of glory, or softened at the mention of misfortune, – Greece may count a friend, and her children an avenger. I come not here in the vain hope to stimulate the courage of men already roused and resolved. One sole cry remained for you, and you have uttered it. Your language has now one only word — Liberty: Ah! what other invocation need the men of Sparta – of Athens — to bid them rise 2 These blue Heavens, these mountains, these waters, – here are your orators — here is your present Demosthenes! Wherever the eye can range, . wherever the feet can tread, your consecrated soil recounts a triumph or a glorious death. From Leuctra to Maráthon, every inch of ground responds to you — cries to you — for vengeance! liberty : lory ! virtue! country! These voices, which tyrants cannot stifle, ji". words, but steel. T is here ! Receive it! Arm ' Let the thirsting earth at length be refreshed with the blood of her oppressors! What sound more awakening to the brave than the clank of his country's fetters ? Should the sword ever tremble in your grasp, remember yesterday! think of to-morrow ! For myself, in return for the alliance which I bring you, I ask but the recompense of an honorable grave. I ask but the privilege of shedding my blood with you, in your sacred cause. I ask but to know, in dying, that I too belong to Greece—to liberty Yes, might the Pilgrim hope that, on the pillars of a new Parthénon, his name might, one day, be inscribed, or, that in the nobler mausoleum of your hearts his memory might be cherished, – he were well content. The tomb where Freedom weeps can never have been prematurely reached by its inmate. Such martyrdom is blessed, indeed. What higher fortune can ambition covet?
49. BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE, 1809. —Rev. Charles Wolfe.
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
We buried him darkly, at dead of night,
By the struggling moonbeams' misty light,
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
But he lay, like a warrior taking his rest,
Few and short were the prayers we said,
But we steadfastly gazed on the face of the dead,
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that 's gone,
But little he 'll reck, if they let him sleep on,
But half of our heavy task was done,
And we heard the distant and random gun,
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
We carved not a line, we raised not a stone,
—o50. THE BATTLE OF HOHENLINDEN, 1800. — Thomas Campbell.