Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/257

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But wouldst thou have me share the prey?
By all that I have done.
The Varian bones that day by day
Lie whitening in the sun,
The legion's trampled panoply,
The eagle's shattered wing, —
I would not he for earth or sky
So scorn'd and mean a thing.

Ho, call me here the wizard, boy,
Of dark and subtle skill,
To agonise but not destroy,
To torture, not to kill.
When swords are out, and shriek and shout
Leave little room for prayer,
No fetter on man's arm or heart
Hangs half so heavy there.

I curse him by the gifts, the land
Hath won from him and Rome,
The riving axe, the wasting brand,
Rent forest, blazing home.
I curse him by our country's gods,
The terrible, the dark,
The breakers of the Roman rods,
The smiters of the hark.

Oh, misery that such a ban
On such a brow should he !
Why comes he not in battle's van
His country's chief to be ? —
To stand a comrade by my side,
The sharer of my fame,
And worthy of a brother's pride
And of a brother's name?