But the Consul’s brow was sad, and the Consul’s speech was low,
And darkly looked he at the wall, and darkly at the foe.
‘Their van will be upon us before the bridge goes down;
And if they once might win the bridge, what hope to save the town?’
Then out spoke brave Horatius, the Captain of the Gate:
‘To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods,
Hew down the bridge, Sir Consul, with all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me, will hold the foe in play.
In yon strait path a thousand may well be stopped by three.
Now who will stand on either hand and keep the bridge with me?’
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