BETA

CIRCASSIA.

The extraordinary resistance of the
tribes on the east of the Black Sea to
the Russian arms, has long since at-
tracted the eye of every man who
wishes well to the cause of national
bravery fighting for national inde-
pendence. Five successive campaigns
have scarcely advanced the dominion
of the Czar beyond the sea-coast ; and
even that dominion, within the present
year, has been singularly restricted.
The Circassians, who had hitherto
contented themselves with desultory,
though highly destructive, attacks on the Russian troops among the hills,
appear to have acted under some more
general system, and have combined
powerful attacks on the Russian for-
tresses from the river Cuban to the
Mingrelian border. Aboun, Ghe-
lendik, Thapsene, and others, with
strong garrisons, have been rapidly
stormed ; and, colossal as the strength
of Russia is, and furious and all—
grasping as her ambition has been,
and continues, she has evidently been
hitherto baffled, with great waste of
treasure and loss of life.

The Circassian War-Song.

A shout from the mountains !1
The hunters are near,2
But their horn is not wound3
For the chase of the deer.4
The sons of Circassia5
Have clasp’d on their mail ;6
They are bloodhounds that hang7
On the Muscovites’ trail.8
They have hunted the robber9
From forest to shore ;10
And the sands of the Euxine11
Are red with his gore.12
Woe, woe, to the yellow-beards,*13
Woe to their Czar,14
When the flame on our hills15
Calls our chieftains to war.16
His blood shall run cold,17
And his cheek shall be wan,18
When he hears of the corpses19
That load the Cuban ;20
And the howl of his host21
As they sank in its stream,22
Shall poison his banquet,23
And madden his dream.24

* A Turkish name of contempt for the Russians.
We march’d through the midnight,25
We march’d through the noon ;26
At evening we saw27
The grim walls of Aboun.28
Like a lion, it bask’d29
On the brow of its hill.30
At midnight it roar’d,31
But at morning was still.32
We tamed it with fire,33
And we choked it with blood ;34
Now—the gore-blacken’d ground35
Alone shows where it stood.36
Hurrah, for the morn37
When proud Ghelendik fell !38
What cared the Circassian39
For shot or for shell ?40
Though her ramparts were blazing41
With rocket and gun,42
The hearts of the sons43
Of the mountains were one.44
What if fire came like thunder,45
And balls fell like hail,46
Three thousand white skeletons47
Now tell her tale.48
Hurrah for the sunset49
That show’d us Thapsene ;50
We roused up its wolves51
From their marble ravine.52
’Twas lovely to see,53
In the twilight’s rich fold,54
Its sun-colour’d towers55
Of ruby and gold ;56
But ’ twas lovelier to see,57
In the morning’s pale haze,58
The smoke, like a shroud,59
That o’erhung it’s last blaze.60
The wolves of that cavern61
No longer shall prowl ;62
Their hunter was Death—63
We heard their last howl.64
Pale slaves of the Czar,65
What ye sow ye shall reap66
We care not for hunger,67
We care not for sleep.68
We are falcons—we rush69
Up the cannon-crown’d ridge ;70
Our feet are our wings,71
And our bodies our bridge.72
We laugh at your cannon—73
We trample your gold74
We have rifles and hearts—75
Soon your tale shall be told.76
We saw the Black Eagle,77
We see it no more ;78
We have redden’d its plumage79
In Muscovite gore.80
We have cut off its talons,81
And blunted its beak ;82
Let it frighten the Persian83
Or feed on the Greek ;84
Let it pounce on the Turk,85
Or the Pole in his fen ;86
But no heart of Circassia87
Shall gorge it again !88