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Tell saw the crowd, the lifted cap,

The tyrant's angry frown; And heralds shouted in his ear,

“Bow down, ye slaves, bow down !”

Stern Gesler marked the peasant's mien,

And watched to see him fall;
But never palm-tree straighter stood

Than Tell before them all.

“My knee shall bend," he calmly said,

“ To God, and God alone : My life is in the Austrian's hand,

My conscience is my own.”.

“Seize him, ye guards !” the ruler cried,

While passion choked his breath; “He mocks my power, he braves my lord,—

He dies the traitor's death.

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Yet wait: the Swiss are marksmen true,

So all the world doth say;
That fair-haired stripling hither bring,

We'll try their skill to-day.”,

Hard by a spreading lime-tree stood,

To this the youth was bound; They placed an apple on his head ;

He looked in wonder round.

“ The fault is mine, if fault there be,”

Cried Tell, in accents wild ; “On manhood let your vengeance fall,

But spare, oh, spare my child !”

" I will not harm the pretty boy,”

Said Gesler, tauntingly; “ If blood of his shall stain the ground,

Yours will the murder be.

“Draw tight your bow, my cunning man,

Your straightest arrow take;
For know, yon apple is your mark,

Your liberty the stake."

A mingled noise of wrath and grief

Was heard among the crowd ; The men they muttered curses deep,

The women wept aloud.

Full fifty paces from his child,

His cross-bow in his hand,
With lip compressed, and flashing eye,

Tell firmly took his stand.

Sure, full enough of pain and woe

This crowded earth has been; But never since the curse began,

So sad a sight was seen.

The noble boy stood bravely up,

His cheek unblanched with fear: “Shoot straight,” he cried, “thine aim is sure,

It will not fail thee here."

“ Heaven bless thee now,” the parent said,

Thy courage shames me quite;" Then to his ear the shaft he drew,

And watched its whizzing flight.

6 'Tis done! 'tis done !—the child is safe!”

Shouted the multitude ; “ Man tramples on his brother man,

But God is ever good.”

For, sure enough, the arrow went

As by an angel guided;
In pieces two, beneath the tree,

The apple fell divided!

66 'Twas bravely done,” the ruler said,

“My plighted word I keep; 'Twas bravely done by sire and son

Go home and feed your sheep."

“ No thanks I give thee for thy boon,”

The peasant coldly said: “To God alone my praise is due,

And duly shall be paid.

" Yet kaow, proud man, thy fate was near :

Had I but missed my aim,
Not unavenged my child had died,

Thy parting hour the same!

For, see! a second shaft was here,

If harm my boy befell :
Now go, and bless the heavenly powers

My first has sped so well.”

God helped the right, God spared the sin ;

He brings the proud to shame; He guards the weak against the strong, —

Prai to his holy name!


BORN 1793.
DIED 1835.

OTHER WRITINGS:- The Forest Sanctuary; The Vespers of Palermo

(a tragedy); and many smaller pieces.


In the battle of the Nile, which was fought A.D. 1798, Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, the son of the Admiral of the French ship “ L'Orient,” remained at his post after the ship had taken fire, and would not leave without his father's permission. The flames at last reached the powder, and he perished. The boy stood on the burning deck,

Whence all but he had fled ;
The flame that lit the battle's wreck,

Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,

As born to rule the stormA creature of heroic blood,

A proud though childlike form.

The flames rolled on.

He would not go
Without his father's word;
That father, faint in death below,

His voice no longer heard.
He call'd aloud :"Say, father ! say

If yet my task is done !"
He knew not that the chieftain lay

Unconscious of his son.

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