O gallant horse, hold on thy course;
The road is tracked behind.
Spur, rider, spur or vain thy force—
Death comes on every wind.
Roared thunder loud from that pitchy cloud?
From it the torrents flow?
Or wakes the breeze in the swaying trees
That frown so dark below?
He breathes at last, when the valley is past,
He rests on the grey rock's brow;
What ails thee, steed? At thy master's need,
Wilt thou prove faithless now?
No; hardly checked, with ears erect,
The charger champed his rein;
Ere his quivering limbs, all foam-flecked,
Were off like light again.
Hark! through the pass with threatening crash
Comes on the increasing roar!
But what shall brave the deep, deep waves
The deadly pass before?
Their feet are dyed in a darker tide,
Who dare those dangers drear.
Their breasts have burst through the battle's worst,
And why should they tremble here?