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Page:The Fall of the Alamo.djvu/240

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So hear me, Chief; so hear me, Generals!
Here on my knees I now beseech you all!

[On his knees he crouches round the circle with uplifted hands. Then he opens his coat and bares his arms, to show his wounds, at which all express the utmost horror.]

Behold these stripes, behold these ghastly wounds,
Which call aloud for vengeance and requital.
And yet this costly property of mine,
And the remembrance of my grievous wrongs,
My daughter's martyrdom, her lover's death,
I fain will lay upon this country's altar,
Since far a greater sacrifice I brought.

[He rises.]

For list! Last night, when drunk with ardent wine
From pillaged Harrisburg obtained, my guards
Were fast asleep, when Santa Anna self
Lay on his camp-bed in unconscious stupor,
By dint of weary filing I at last
Freed me of chains, pressed deep into my flesh.
On hands and knees I crept then, where he lay,
He, he, the fiend, that wrecked my life,—he, he.
That used to while his leisure-hours away.
To see me writhe beneath his cruel hand;
He, he, that scarce an hour ago had struck
And stamped me in his drunken humor's fit.
As standing so before my mortal foe,