Hark! is the stream from the mountain gushing,
Is it the whirlwind scouring the plain,
Is it the storm on his wing again?
No! 'tis the voice of the trumpet loud
Speaking to horsemen and horses proud;
Down to the plain like torrents they dash,
And the lightning that gleams is their faulchion's flash,
And the shout that rushes through silence on high
Like the tempest's voice is the battle-cry,
The cry of the Moslem ringing afar,
The dreadful herald of madness and war;
To hear it ascending, the thunder is dumb.
Arm and up, for they come, they come!
"Strike! 'tis the demon; deep, deep in his breast
"Let your lances be gilt, and your sabres find rest;
"Come on to th' encounter, ye faithful! ye brave!
"Tonight ye must give him a gore-crimsoned grave—
"Your shouts to his spirit shall thunder alarm,
"And the might of red vengeance nerve every bold arm;
"Come on!—to the spoiler no safety is given,
"No shelter on earth, and no mercy in heaven!"
Those words were like the tempest's breath
Rousing the breakers of the sea
To whelm the mightiest even with death,
Leaving them things for memory--
The spirit of each warrior brave
Rose like a storm-invoked wave;
The wild halloo, the horsemen's cry
Hurried exulting to the sky;—
But who is he, the guiding star
That leads to vengeance, blood, and war?
Ah! know ye not that voice's tone
That ancient eye's wild flash of fire,
That brow that bows to heaven alone—
Ah! know ye not Nuleeni's sire?
And like an eagle's dashing flight
Down from his rock-borne aerie's height,
And like a bolt when earth and heaven
Rebellious wake a maddening steven,
And like the disobedient main
Breaking his bounds to drench the plain,
Nuleeni's sire with sword and flame
For honours lost and vengeance came.