Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/36

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What brought thee here? Dost thou not know this is the Fatherland?
How dar'st thou stain our righteous earth with thy foul Popish band?
Wouldst guard thy life, then utter not one sound above thy breath;
A whisper, and thy dainty limbs shall make a meal for Death.
Within thy heart these blades shall find the black blood of thy race,
And none shall ever know or dream of thy last resting-place."

Calm as a statue D'Assas stands. His heart he lifts on high.
"The God of battles! help me now, and teach me how to die.
A weeping maid will mourn my fate, a sovereign holds me dear;
Be to them ever more than I who perish sadly here."
No word has passed his pallid lips, no sound his voice has made.
'Twas but the utterance of his heart, this prayer the soldier prayed.
But then? ah, then! No voice on earth e'er rang more loud and clear:
"Auvergne!" he cried, "Auvergne, Auvergne! Behold! the foe is here!"

The forest echoes with the shout. Appalled his captors stand.
The courage of that dauntless heart has stayed each murderous hand.
A moment's pause,—then who can tell how quick their bayonets' thrust
Reached D'Assas' heart, and laid him there, a helpless heap of dust!
The bravest chevalier of France, the pride of Louis' train,—
His blood bedews that alien earth, a flood of crimson rain.
But Auvergne—Auvergne hears the cry; his troops come dashing on:
Ere D'Assas' spirit leaves its clay, the victory has been won.

Mary E. Vandyne, in Good Cheer.