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She lay on the ground in her Scottish plaid,
And I took her head on my knee ; “ When my father comes hame frae the pleugh,"
She said, “ Oh, please, then waker. me.”
She slept like a child on her father's floor,
In the flecking of woodbine shade, When the house-dog sprawls by the half-open door,
And the mother's wheel is stayed.
It was smoke and roar and powder stench,
And hopeless waiting for death ;
Seemed scarce to draw her breath.
I sank to sleep and I had my
dream Of an English village lane And wall and garden, — till a sudden scream
Brought me back to the rear again.
There Jessie Brown stood listening,
And then a broad gladness broke
And drew me near and spoke :
“ The Highlanders ! O dinna ye hear
The slogan far awa ?
It is the grandest of them a’!
“ God bless the bonny Highlanders ;
We ’re saved! we ’re saved !” she cried ; And fell on her knees and thanks to God
Poured forth, like a full flood tide.
Along the battery line, her cry
Had fallen among the men ; And they started; for they were there to die,
Was life so near them then ?
They listened, for life, and the rattling fire
Far off, and the far off roar
And they turned to their guns once more.
Then Jessie said, “ The slogan’s dune,
But can ye no hear them, noo ? The Campbells are coming! it’s nae a dream
Our succors hae broken through ! ”
We heard the roar and the rattle afar,
But the pipers we could not hear; So the men plied their work of hopeless war,
And knew that the end was near.
It was not long ere it must be heard,
A shrilling ceaseless sound;
Or the sappers underground.
It was the pipe of the Highlanders,
And now they played “ Auld Lang Syne”; It came to our men like the voice of God;
And they shouted along the line.
And they wept and shook each other's hands,
And the women sobbed in a crowd ;
And we all thanked God aloud.
That happy day, when we welcomed them in,
Our men put Jessie first;
And cheers from the men like a volley burst.
And the pipers' ribbons and tartans streamed,
Marching round and round our line ;
PARRHASIUS AND THE CAPTIVE.
Streamed richly, and the hidden colors stole
“ Bring me the captive, now!
And I could paint the bow
“ Ha! bind him on his back! Look ! - as Prometheus in my picture here ! Quick ! — or he faints ! — stand with the cordial near !
Now - bend him on the rack !
let him writhe! How long Will he live thus ? Quick, my good pencil, now What a fine
his brow !
“Pity 'thee! So I do!
I'd rack thee, though I knew
“ But, there's a deathless name ! A spirit that the smothering vault shall spurn, And, like a steadfast planet, mount and burn
And though its crown of flame Consumed
brain to ashes as it shone By all the fiery stars ! I'd bind it on!
“ Ay - though it bid me rifle My heart's last fount for its insatiate thirst Though every life-strung nerve be maddened first
Though it should bid me stifle The yearning in
throat for my sweet child, And taunt its mother till my brain went wild
66 All — I would do it all Sooner than die, like a dull worm, to rot Thrust foully into earth to be forgot !
O heavens ! but I appall
Your heart, old man ! — forgive — ha! on your
lives Let him not faint ! rack him till he revives !
“ Vain — vain - give o'er. His eye
He does not feel you now
Gods! if he do not die,
till I eclipse Conception with the scorn of those calm lips !
Shivering! Hark! he mutters
Look! how his temple flutters !
gasps Jove help him
- he's dead."
How like a mounting devil in the heart
N. P. Willis.