ページの画像
PDF
ePub

“ Echoed the loud uproar. The herald went. “ The work of war began.” Its ;'

. . : **A fearful scene," Cried Isabel. “ The iron storm of death “ Clash'd in the sky; from the strong engines hurl’d “ Huge rocks with tempest force convulsed the air ; “ Then was there heard at once the clang of arms, “ The bellowing cannons, and the soldier's shout, “ The female's shriek, the affrighted infant's cry, “ The groan of death : discord of dreadful sounds “ That jarr’d the soul ! . .

« Nor while the encircling foe “ Leager'd the walls of Orleans, idly slept “Our friends : for winning down the Loire its way “ The frequent vessel with provision fraught, “ And men, and all the artillery of death, “ Cheer'd us with welcome succour. At the bridge “ These safely stranded mock'd the foeman's force. “ This to prevent, Salisbury their watchful chief “ A mighty work prepares. Around our walls

“ Encircling walls he builds, surrounding thus “ The city. Firm'd with massiest buttresses, “ At equal distance, sixty forts protect “ The pile. But chief where in the sieged town “ The six great avenues meet in the midst, “ Six castles there he rear'd impregnable, “With deep-dug moats and bridges drawn aloft, “ Where over the strong gate suspended hung “ The dread portcullis. Thence the gunner's eye “ From his safe shelter could with ease survey “ Intended sally, or approaching aid, “ And point destruction.

“ It were long to tell “ And tedious, how with many a bold assault “ The men of Orleans rush'd upon their foes ; “ How after difficult fight the enemy . “ Possess’d the Tournelles, and the embattled tower “ That shadows from the bridge the subject Loire ; Tho' numbering now three thousand daring men, “ Frequent and fierce the garrison repell’d

“ Their far out-numbering foes. From every aid “ Included, they in Orleans groan'd beneath “ All ills accumulate. The shatter'd roofs “ Gave to the dews of night free passage there, And ever and anon the ponderous stone, “ Ruining where'er it fell, with hideous crash “ Came like an earthquake, startling from his sleep “ The affrighted soldier. From the brazen slings “ The wild-fire balls shower'd thro’the midnight sky; “ And often their huge engines cast among us “ The dead and loathsome cattle of their camp, As tho' our enemies, to their deadly league “ Forcing the common air, would make us breathe “ Poisonous pollution. Thro' the streets were seen “ The frequent fire, and heaps of dead, in haste “ Piled up and steaming to infected heaven. “ For ever the incessant storm of death Pours down, and shrouded in unwholesome vaults “ The wretched females hide, not idle there, “ Wasting the hours in tears, but all employ’d,

“ Or to provide the hungry soldier's meal, “ Or tear their garments to bind up his wounds “ A sad equality of wretchedness!

“ Now came the worst of ills, for Famine came “ The provident hand deals out its scanty dole, “ Yielding so little its supply to life As but protracted death. The loathliest food “ Hunted with eager eye, and dainty deem’d; The dog is slain that at his master's feet “ Howling with hunger lay; with jealous fear, Hating a rival's look, the husband hides “ His miserable meal ; the famish'd babe “ Clings closely to his dying mother's breast ; • “ And... horrible to tell !... where thrown aside “ There lay unburied in the open streets “ Huge heaps of carcases, the soldier stands “ Eager to mark the carrion crow for food.

“O peaceful scenes of childhood ! pleasant fields ! “ Haunts of mine infancy, where I have stray'd “ Tracing the brook along its winding way, “ Or pluck'd the primrose, or with giddy speed “ Chased the gay butterfly from flower to flower! “O days in vain remember'd! how my soul, “ Sick with calamity, and the sore ills ::: “ Of hunger, dwelt upon you !... quiet home! “ Thinking of you amid the waste of war, i “ I could in bitterness have cursed the great “ Who made me what I was ! a helpless one, " Orphan'd, and wanting bread!" :

....! . “ And be they curst !" Conrade exclaim'd, his dark eye flashing rage; “ And be they curst! O groves and woodland shades, “ How blest indeed were you, if the iron rod “ Should one day from Oppression's hand be wrench'd “ By everlasting Justice ! Come that hour, “ When in the Sun the Angel of the Lord “ Shall stand and cry to all the fowls of heaven, «« «Gather ye to the supper of your God,

« 前へ次へ »