Then, Alsbury, conduct him to the camp,
While farther we pursue our scouting-tour.
No, no. Sir Scout, ye all must come with me,
For every gallant arm is needed there.
'T is useless quite for you to search for news
That mine would not exceed a hundred-fold
By weightiness and accurate account.
But ere we go, my friends, let us destroy
This bridge, to thwart the enemy's hasty flight;
The swampy shores will stay their horses' feet,
The swollen waves defy their strength to cross.
So go to work; then I shall follow you.
Thou, a deserter, unknown and despised,
Commandest here, as if thou wert our master;
And yet I know not what it is that prompts me
Implicitly thy order to obey.
If I believed in visions, I should ween
Thou wert an angel sent from heavenly realms,
Disguised in beggar's dress, to aid our cause
By thine advice; so beams thy eye inspired.
And so assuring sounds to me thy voice.
So, friends, make haste to hurl these planks and beams
Into the waves; for if that man tells true,
Our arms are needed in the camp to-day.
[They throw the planks into the river.]