Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/151

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ARMINIUS. 145


When swords are out, and shriek and about Leave little room for prayer, No fetter on man's arm or heart Hangs half so heavy there.

I curse him by the gifts the land Hath won from him and Rome, The riving axe, the wasting brand, Kent forest, blazing home. I curse him by our country's gods, The terrible, the dark, The breakers of the Roman rods, The smiters of the bark.

Oh, misery that such a ban On such a brow should be! Why comes he not in battle's van His country's chief to be! To stand a comrade by my side. The sharer of my fame. And worthy of a brother's pride And of a brother's name!

But it is past! where heroes press And cowards bend the knee, Arminius is not brotherless, His brethren are the free. They come around: one hour, and light Will fade from turf and tide, Then onward, onward to the fight. With darkness for our guide.

To-night, to-night, when we shall meet In combat face to face, Then only would Arminius greet The renegade's embrace. The canker of Rome's guilt shall be Upon his dying name; And as he lived in slavery, So shall he fall in shame.

On the day after the Romans had reached the Weser, Germanicus led his army across that river, and a partial encounter took place, in which Arminius was successful. But on the succeeding day a general action was fought, in which Arminius was severely wounded, and the German infantry routed with heavy loss. The horsemen of the two armies encountered, without either party gaining the advantage. But the Roman army remained master of the ground, and claimed a complete victory.

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