« ÎnapoiContinuați »
At last one night they came. I knew Ere yet the boat had touched the land That all was lost: they were so few I near could count them on one hand; But he, the leader, led no more. The proud chief still disdained to fly, But, like one wrecked, clung to the shore, And struggled on, and struggling fell From power to a prison cell, And only left that cell to die.
My recollection, like a ghost,
Years after, sheltered from the sun Beneath a Sacramento bay, A black Muchacho 1 by me lay Along the long grass crisp and dun, His brown mule browsing by his side, And told with all a peon's pride How he once fought, how long and well,
1 Youth (Spanish).
Broad breast to breast, red hand to hand,
To die with hand and brow unbound He gave his gems and jeweled sword; ; Thus at the last the warrior found Some freedom for his steel's reward. He walked out from the prison wall Dressed like a prince for a parade, And made no note of man or maid, But gazed out calmly over all; Then looked afar, half paused, and then Above the mottled sea of men He kissed his thin hand to the sun; Then smiled so proudly none had known But he was stepping to a throne, Yet took no note of anyone. A nude brown beggar peon child, Encouraged as the captive smiled, Looked up, half scared, half pitying;
, He stooped, he caught it from the sands, Put bright coins in its two brown hands, Then strode on like another king.
Two deep, a musket's length, they stood, Afront, in sandals, nude, and dun As death and darkness wove in one, Their thick lips thirsting for his blood. He took their black hands one by one, And, smiling with a patient grace, Forgave them all and took his place. He bared his broad brow to the sun,
Gave one long last look to the sky,
A bow, a touch of heart, a pall
Success had made him more than king; Defeat made him the vilest thing In name, contempt or hate can bring: So much the leaded dice of war Do make or mar of character.
Speak ill who will of him, he died In all disgrace; say of the dead His heart was black, his hands were redSay this much, and be satisfied; Gloat over it all undenied. I only say that he to me, Whatever he to others was, Was truer far than anyone That I have known beneath the sun, Sinner, saint, or Pharisee, As boy or man, for any cause; I simply say he was my friend When strong of hand and fair of fame:
Dead and disgraced, I stand the same
I lay this crude wreath on his dust,
He lies low in the leveled sand,
A palm not far held out a hand, Hard by a long green bamboo swung And bent like some great bow unstrung, And quivered like a willow wand; Beneath a broad banana's leaf, Perched on its fruits that crooked hang, A bird in rainbow splendor sang A low sad song of tempered grief.
No sod, no sign, no cross nor stone, But at his side a cactus green Upheld its lances long and keen; It stood in hot red sands alone, Flat-palmed and fierce with lifted spears; One bloom of crimson crowned its head,
A drop of blood, so bright, so red,
left hand I held a shell,
I said some things, with folded hands,
I could not well do more:
SIR PATRICK SPENCE
HE king sits in Dumferling toune,
Drinking the blude-reid wine: “O whar will I get guid sailor,
To sail this schip of mine?”
Up and spak an eldern knicht,
Sat at the kings richt kne:
That sails upon the se.”