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MAZEPPA.

I. "TWAS after dread Pultowa's day,

When fortune left the royal Swede; Around a slaughter'd army lay,

No more to combat and to bleed. The power and glory of the war,

Faithless as their vain votaries, men, Had pass'd to the triumphant Czar,

And Moscow's walls were safe again,

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Until a day more dark and drear,
And a more memorable year,
Should give to slaughter and to shame
A mightier host and haughtier name;
A greater wreck, a deeper fall,
A shock to one - a thunderbolt to all.

II.

Such was the hazard of the die;
The wounded Charles was taught to fly
By day and night through field and flood,
Stain'd with his own and subjects' blood;
For thousands fell that flight to aid:
And not a voice was heard t'upbraid

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Ambition in his humbled hour,
When truth had nought to dread from power.
His horse was slain, and Gieta gaye
His own

and died the Russians' slave.
This too sinks after many a league
Of well sustain'd, but vain fatigue;
And in the depth of forests, darkling

The watch-fires in the distance sparkling

The beacons of surrounding foes A king must lay his limbs at length.

30 Are these the laurels and repose For which the' nations strain their strength ? They laid him by a savage tree, In out-worn nature's agony; His wounds were stiff his limbs were stark The heavy hour was chill and dark; The fever in his blood forbade A transient slumber's fitful aid : And thus it was; but yet through all,

i bu Kinglike the monarch bore his fall, ito, And made, in this extreme of ill, His pangs the vassals of his will; All silent and subdued were they, As once the nations round him lay.

III.

A band of chiess! alas ! how few,

Since but the fleeting of a day
Had thinn'd it; but this wreck was true.
Vol. VIII.

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And chivalrous: upon the clay
Each sate him down, all sad and mute,

Beside his monarch and his steed,
For danger levels man and brute,

And all are fellows in their need.
Among the rest, Mazeppa made
His pillow in an old oak's shade
Himself as rough, and scarce less old,
The Ukraine's hetman, calm and bold;
But first, outspent with this long course,
The Cossack prince rubb'd down his horse,
And made for him a leafy bed,
And smooth'd liis fetlocks and his mane, 60

And slack'd his girth, and stripp'd his rein,
And joy'd to see how well he fed;
For until now he had the dread
His wearied courser might refuse.
To browze beneath the midnight dews:
But he was hardy as his lord,
And little cared for bed and board;
But spirited and docile too;
Whate'er was to be done, would do,

Shaggy and swift, and strong of limb,

70 All Tartar-like he carried him; Obey'd his voice, and came at call, And knew him in the midst of all: Though thousands were around, -- and Night, Without a star, pursued her flight, That steed from) sunset until dawn His chief would fallow like a fawn.

IV.

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This done, Mazeppa spread his cloak,
And laid his lance beneath his oak,
Felt if his arms in order good
The long day's march had well withstood
If still the powder fill'd the pan,

And flints unloosen'd kept their lock
His sabre's hilt and scabbard felt,
And whether they had chafed his belt
And next the venerable man,
From out his haversack and can,

Prepared and spread his slender stock;
And to the monarch and his men

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