But speak! why lingerest thou here in the woods
Like as a simpler, seeking healing herbs,
Or like a poet, scanning Nature's secrets.
While even now the foe is close at hand,
And hopes to take thy forteress by surprise.
What sayest thou? It cannot be—my scouts—
Have all been captured by the fleet dragoons
Of Santa Anna, who from different points
Spread out the network of his cavalry
That compassed them, ere yet they were aware.
But pray how happen'st thou to know this news?
Through my Comanche friends who, vulture-like,
Hang round the skirts of Santa Anna's van.
If I before have welcomed thy arrival
As useful, as a blessing to our cause,
I now behold in it the wondrous hand
Of Providence, dispatching thee to warn us
Against approaching danger. But, friend Crockett,
Let now us haste, where duty calls our steps.