« 前へ次へ »
"Pleasant it is to hear the pelting rain.
"I too were well content to dwell in peace,
"Resting my head upon the lap of Love,
"But that my country calls. When the winds roar,
"Remember sometimes what a soldier suffers,
"And think on Conrade."
"Theodore replied, "Success go with thee! Something we have known "Of war, and tasted its calamity; "And I am well content to dwell in peace, "Albeit inglorious, thanking that good God "Who made me to be happy."
"Did that God," "Cried Conrade, "form thy heart for happiness, "When Desolation royally careers "Over thy wretched country? did that God "Form thee for Peace when Slaughter is abroad, "When her brooks run with blood, and Rape, and
Murder, "Stalk thro' her flaming towns? live thou in peace,
Young man! my heart is human: I do feel
But is there not some duty due to those
"Hard is it," Conrade cried,
"One, upon whom my heart has center'd all
"Its dearest, best, affections. Should I live
"Till France shall see the blessed hour of Peace,
"I shall return: my heart will be content,
"My highest duties will be well discharged
"And I may then be happy. There are those
"Who deem these thoughts the fancies of a mind
"Strict beyond measure, and were well content,
"If I should soften down my rigid nature
"Even to inglorious ease, to honour me.
"But pure of heart and high of self-esteem
"I must be honour'd by myself: all else,
"The breath of Fame, is as the unsteady wind
"So saying from his belt he took "The encumbering sword. Iheldit,listeningtohim, "And wistless what I did, half from the sheath "Drew forth its glittering blade. I gazed upon it "And shuddering, as I touch'd its edge, exclaim'd, "How horrible it is with the keen sword
"To gore the finely-fibred human frame! "I could not strike a lamb."
"He answer'd me, "Maiden, thou hast said well. I could not strike "A lamb,.. But when the invader's savage fury "Spares not gray age, and mocks the infant's shriek "As it doth writhe upon his cursed lance, "And forces to his foul embrace, the wife "Even on her murder'd husband's gasping corse! "Almighty God! I should not be a man "If I did let one weak and pitiful feeling "Make mine arm impotent to cleave him down. "Think well of this, young Man!" he cried, and seized "The hand of Theodore; "think well of this, "As you are human, as you hope to live "In peace, amid the dearest joys of home; "Think well of this! you have a tender mother, "As you do wish that she may die in peace, "As you would even to madness agonize "To hear this maiden call on you in vain
"For aid, and see her dragg'd, and hear her scream
"In the blood-reeking soldier's lustful arms,
"Think that there are such horrors; that even now,
"Some city flames, and haply as in Roan,
"Some famish'd babe on his dead mother's breast
"Yet hangs and pulls for food!.. woe be to those
"By whom the evil comes! and woe to him,..
"For little less his guilt,.. who dwells in peace,
"When every arm is needed for the strife!"
"When we had all betaken us to rest, "Sleepless I lay, and in my mind revolved "The high-soul'd warrior's speech. Then Madelon "Rose in remembrance; over her the grave -'.-.'. "Had closed; her sorrows were not register'd "In the rolls of Fame: but when the tears run down "The widow's cheek, shall not her cry be heard "In Heaven against the oppressor? will not God "In sunder smite the unmerciful, and break "The sceptre of the wicked ?.. thoughts like these