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THE FALL OF THE ALAMO

And was still kneeling o'er his prostrate form,
When gleamed,—a dizzy shadow as of death,—
The sword-blade of the third before mine eye;
One moment's faint—a sullen fall—I woke
And saw our third opponent lying dead,
And standing by with smiling, radiant face,
My brother James; no word was interchanged;
One mute but meaning pressure of the hand
Alone betokened what we thought and felt.
We hasted to rejoin our friends; the storm
Repulsed, I gave the signal for the sally.
And rushing out I lost my brother's trace.
Once only, through a break among the clouds
Of battle-dust and powder-smoke, I saw
His figure as encircled by a halo,
Far, far in our advance. I called to him.
He looking back an instant, waved his sword,
And then was lost amid the swaying crowds.
A hostile column just advancing then
Against our men, claimed all my watchfulness.
And screened my brother's fate from out my view.
Poor brother James! Upon our start from home
My mother, loath to let her darling go.
Enjoined on me his safety with these words:
" Watch o'er him as the pupil of thine eye,
And bring unharmed him back again to me,
Or else I shall despair of godly mercy!"
What shall I then on my return respond