Page:The Fall of the Alamo.djvu/176

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Father! forgive me, if I leave thee now,
My own defence absolves me from my vow.
My sole protection now lies,— where I go,—
With William Travis in the Alamo.

[Having raised the altar-cloth Elsie and James Travis disappear beneath it. Santa Anna, finding his efforts unavailing, resigns himself to his fate.]

Santa Anna.

Curse, curse on every mercy-tempered deed;
It carries in itself its failure's seed!
Curse, curse on each concession to regards
Of sex and worldly usage; it discards
Half of the spirit's energy and power,
And lowers the bold to creatures of the hour.
If thou must be a devil, be it whole.
Or else give up thy aspiration's goal.
But list! a step ! it is the sentinel!

[Knocking against the door, he calls aloud:]

Quick! ope the door, unlock my prison-cell!

[The soldier is seen coming through the corridor.]

Haste, haste thee, man! thy blood, thy life shall pay
For every moment lost through thy delay!

[The soldier takes the keys from the door where Elsie had left them and unlocks the room in which Santa Anna is. The latter exclaims eagerly:]

Where are they, speak?