Prepare our arms, call out our countrymen,
And gather at my door two hours from now,
To storm the fort, when night has spread her shade.
A gloomy vault in the Fort of Anahuac, lighted by one single window near the ceiling. Opposite to the side which contains the window, is an adjoining dungeon from which Wm. B. Travis steps forth, absorbed in reverie.
In prison! Ha! why startles me this name
All of a sudden, which like other words
Of daily speech I hitherto pronounced
Unmoved, unstirred, scarce thinking of its import?
Why now rebels my inmost soul against
This sound, as though it were a mournful dirge?
Why dreads my foot to step upon this floor
That, cold and stern, sends shudders through my frame?
Why sinks my head involuntarily
Betwixt my shoulders, wishing there to hide
Against this frowning ceiling's pressing weight?
Why shrinks my hand to touch these circling walls
That slowly, stealthily, with every moment
Seem drawing, creeping closer up to me?
Because here is the sum of human horrors,
The acme of distress, a living grave,