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23
THE FALL OF THE ALAMO

E'en now her cruel hand withholds from me,
And by a treacherous breach of confidence
She asks me to perform some overwork,
Before I can obtain my well-earned fee.
For the intention to resign my post.
So soon the prize should be within my reach,
I must defer in face of this revolt
Which hydra-like lifts its defiant head
Before my very eye-sight in this land.
To leave it now in this disordered state,
To seize my wealth, to flee with it abroad,
Is out of question; the suspecting eye
Of Despotism would soon detect my motive
And find in it a good pretense to lay
His grasping hand upon my property.
Was it a wicked spirit's tempting voice
That seven months ago, when ninety-thousand
Were not enough for me, has shut and deafened
My ear and heart to Elsie's tearful prayers?
So true it is, that Fortune's envious powers.
In their dislike to man's self-shapen course,
W^ill quietly oft allow him to approach
His prize, when lo! 't is wrested from his hand.
But courage, Bradburn! why these mournful thoughts,
When not a cloud yet darkens thy horizon?
Proceed to work, e'en though the task be weary,
And see how it may swiftest be accomplished!

[He meditates a brief while, then exclaims exultingly:]