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Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
All the world wonderd;
Shatter'd and sunder'd. Then they rode back, but not,
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Volley'd and thund'red;
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
All the world wondered.
Hohenlinden means tall lindens. It is the name of a great dense and dark forest in Upper Bavaria. In an open space in the very midst of this great forest stands the village of Hohenlinden, nineteen miles east of Munich. The battle of Hohenlinden occurred December 3, 1800, during one of Napoleon's campaigns, between the French under Moreau and the Austrians under Archduke John. It was fought in a blinding snowstorm. The Austrians lost twenty thousand men and the French five thousand.
Few, few shall part where many meet!
The snow shall be their winding-sheet. This is one of the best war poems in the language. It was in the late Charles A. Dana's famous list of “ten best poems." The poem should be read first as a whole, then studied line by line, and finally read again somewhat rapidly as a whole. It is a combination of stirring pictures artistically blended with thrilling effect—if the reader has the imagination to re-create the hills of stained snow, the waving banners, and all the dreadful revelry that Munich and Linden saw on that awful night.
On Linden, when the sun was low,
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast arrayed,
To join the dreadful revelry.
Far flashed the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'T is morn, but scarce yon level sun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
And charge with all thy chivalry!
- Thomas Campbell. Linden is an abbreviated form of the name of the forest where the battle was fought. It is situated between the river Iser and the river Inn
“... dark as winter was the flow of Iser, rolling rapidly."
Frank—the French; Hun—the Austrians; fires of death flashes of artillery.
Bloodier yet the torrent flow—The waters of the Iser are said to have been literally red with blood.
Sulphurous canopy-smoke of the guns.
Chivalry here has its primary meaning of cavalry, from cheval, a horse.
THE GIFT OF EMPTY HANDS
Once upon a time two young princes were condemned to death by a certain king. They pleaded for their lives, and each promised the king that if his life were spared he would bring rich and wonderful gifts to the king. The king consented and the two princes started out to seek for the gifts.
One of them had remarkably good luck; everything he sought he secured without the slightest effort or trouble. A rare bird lit on his arm, the most beautiful rose in the world fell on his breast, costly gems lay at his feet.
The other strove manfully to keep his promise, but in spite of all of his efforts he secured nothing. His hands were torn and his feet were bruised in his effort