Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/272

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268
BATTLE OF CHALONS.

Local tradition gives to these ancient earth works the name of Attila's Camp. Nor is there any reason to question the correctness of the title or to doubt that behind these very ramparts it was that 1400 years ago the most powerful Heathen king that ever ruled in Europe, mustered the remnants of bis vast army, which had striven on these plains against the Christian soldiery of Thoulouse and Rome. Here it was that Attila prepared to resist to the death his victors in the field; and here he heaped up the treasures of his camp in one vast pile, which was to be bis funeral pyre should his camp be stormed. It was here that the Gothic and Italian forces watched, but dared not assail their enemy in his despair, after that great and terrible day of battle, when

"The sound
Of conflict was o'erpast, the shout of all
Whom earth could send from her remotest bounds,
Heathen or faithful; from thy hundred mouths,
That feed the Caspian with Riphean snows,
Huge Volga! from famed Hypanis, which once
Cradled the Hun; from all the countless realms
Between Imaus and that utmost strand
Where columns of Herculean rock confront
The blown Atlantic; Roman, Goth, and Hun,
And Scythian strength of chivalry, that tread
The cold Codanian shore, or what far lands
Inhospitable drink Cimmerian floods,
Franks, Saxons, Suevic, and Saarmatian chiefs,