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Death from the heights of the mosque and the palace, and
death in the ground! Mine? yes, a mine! Countermine! down, down! and creep
through the hole! Keep the revolver in hand! You can hear him-the mur
derous mole. Quiet, ah! quiet-wait till the point of the pickaxe be
through! Click with the pick, coming nearer and nearer again than
before,Now let it speak, and you fire, and the dark pioneer is no
more; And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew. Ay, but the foe sprung his mine many times, and it chanced
on a day, Soon as the blast of that underground thunder-clap echoed
away, Dark through the smoke and the sulphur, likę so many fiends
in their hell, Cannon-shot, musket-shot, volley on volley, and yell upon
yell,Fiercely on all the defences our myriad enemies fell. What have they done? Where is it? Out yonder. Guard
the Redan! Storm at the Water-gate! storm at the Bailey-gate! storm,
and it ran Surging and swaying all round us, as ocean on every side Plunges and heaves at a bank that is daily drowned by the
tide-So many thousands that if they be bold enough, who shall
escape? Kill or be killed, live or die, they shall know we are soldiers
and men! Ready! take aim at their leaders,--their masses are gapped
with our grapeBackward they reel like the wave, like the wave flinging
forward again, Flying and foiled at the last by the handful they could not
subdue; And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew. Handful of men as we were, we were English in heart and
in limb, Strong with the strength of the race to command, to obey,
to endure, Each of us fought as if hope for the garrison hung but on Still--could we watch at all points? we were every day
fewer and fewer. There was a whisper among us, but only a whisper that
passed : “Children and wives—if the tigers leap into the fold un
awares, Every man die at his post-and the foe may outlive us at
last-Better to fall by the hands that they love, than to fall into
theirs !" Roar upon roar! in a moment two mines, by the enemy
sprung, Clove into perilous chasms our walls and our poor palisades. Riflemen, true is your heart, but be sure that your hand be
as true! Sharp is the fire of assault, better aimed are your flank fusi
lades, Twice do we hurl them to earth from the ladders to which
they had chung, Twice from the ditch where they shelter, we drive them
with hand grenades; And ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew.
Then on another wild morning another wild earthquake
out-tore Clean from our lines of defence ten or twelve good paces Riflemen, high on the roof, hidden there from the light of
One has leapt up on the breach, crying out, “ Follow me,
follow me!” Mark him,-he falls! then another, and him too, and down Had they been bold enough then, who can tell but the
traitors had won ? Boardings, and rafters, and doors,-an embrasure! make
way for the gun ! Now double charge it with grape! It is charged and we fire,
and they run. Praise to our Indian brothers and let the dark face have
his due! Thanks to the kindly dark faces who fought with us, faith.
ful and few,Fought with the bravest among us, and drove them, and
smote them, and slew,That ever upon the topmost roof our banner in India blew.
Men will forget what we suffer and not what we do. We
can fight; But to be soldier all day and be sentinel all through the
night, Ever the mine and assault, our sallies, their lying alarmıs; Bugles and drums in the da ess, and shoutings and sound
ings to arms, Ever the labor of fifty that had to be done by five, Ever the marvel among us that one should be left alive, Ever the day with its traitorous death from the loop-holes
around, Ever the night with its coffinless corpse to be laid in the
ground, Heat like the mouth of a hell, or a deluge of cataract skies, Stench of old al decaying, and infinite torment of flies, Thoughts of the breezes of May blowing over an English
field, Cholera, scurvy, and fever, the wound that would not be
healed, Lopping away of the limb by the pitiful-pitiless knife,Torture and trouble in vain--for it never could save us a life. Valor of delicate women who tended the hospital bed, Horror of women in travail among the dying and dead, Grief for our perishing children, and never a moment for
grief, Toil and ineffable weariness, faltering hopes of relief. Havelock baffled or beaten, or butchered, for all that we
knew,Then day and night, day and night, coming down on the
still shattered walls Millions of musket-bullets, and thousands of cannon-balls,But ever upon the topmost roof our banner of England blew. Hark! cannonade, fusilade! is it true what was told by the
scout? Outram and Havelock breaking their way through the fell
mutineers! Surely the pibroch of Europe is ringing again in our ears! All on a sudden the garrison utter a jubilant shout, Havelock's glorious Highlanders answer with conquering
cheers, Forth from their holes and their hidings our women and
children come out, Blessing the wholesome white faces of Havelock's good
fusileers, Kissing the war-hardened hand of the Highlander wet with Dance to the pibroch! saved! we are saved! is it you? is it
you? Saved by the valor of Havelock, saved by the blessing of
Heaven! “Hold it for fifteen days!" we have held it for eighty-seven! And ever aloft on the palace roof the old banner of England
THE BABY'S KISS.-G. R. EMERSON.
AN INCIDENT OF THE CIVIL WAR.
A MARINER'S DESCRIPTION OF A PIANO.
A sea-captain, who was asked by his wife to look at some pianos while he was in the city, with a view of buying her one. wrote home to her: “I saw one that I thought would suit you, black walnut hull, strong bulk-heads, strengthened fore and aft with iron frame, ceiled with whitewood and maple. Rigging, steel wire-double on the rat lines, and whipped wire on the lower stays, and heavier cordage. Belaying pins of steel and well driven home. Length of taffrail over all, six feet two inches. Breadth of beam thirty-eight inches; depth of hold fourteen inches. This light draft makes the craft equally serviceable in high seas or low flats. It has two martingales, one for the light airs and zephyr winds, and one for strong gusts and sudden squalls. Both are worked with foot rests, near the kelson, handy for the quartermaster, and out o' sight of the passengers. The running gear from the hand-rail to the cordage is made of white. wood and holly; works free and clear; strong enough for the requirements of a musical tornado, and gentle enough for the requiem of a departing class. Hatches, black walnut; can be battened down proof against ten-year-old boys and commercial drummers, or can be clewed up, on occasion, and sheeted home for a first-class instrumental cyclone. I sailed the craft a little, ard thought she had a list to starboard. Anyhow, I liked the starboard side better than the port, but the ship-keeper told me the owners had other craft of like tonnage awaiting sale or charter, which were on just even keel.”
TRUST.-FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE.
Better trust all and be deceived,
And weep that trust and that deceiving,
Had blessed one's life with true believing.
The doubting fiend o'ertakes our youth;
Than lose the blessed hope of truth.