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“Celui qui remplissait alors cette place, était un gentilhomme Polonais, nommé Mazeppa, né dans le

palatinat de Padolie; il avait été élevé page de Jean “ Casimir, et avait pris à sa cour quelque teinture des “ belles lettres. Une intrigue qu'il eut dans sa jeunesse

avec la femme d'un gentilhomme Polonais, ayant été

découverte, le mari le fit lier tout nu sur un cheval “farouche, et le laissa aller en cet état. Le cheval, qui “ était du pays de l'Ukraine, y retourna, et y porta

Mazeppa, demi-mort de fatigue et de faim. Quelque

paysans le secoururent: il resta long-tems parmi eux, “ et se signala dans plusieurs courses contre les Tartares. “ La supériorité de ses lumières lui donna une grande “ considération parmi les Cosaques : sa réputation “s'augmentant de jour en jour, obligea le Czar à le “ faire Prince de l'Ukraine.”—VOLTAIRE, Histoire de Charles XII. p. 196.

“ Le roi fuyant et poursuivi eut son cheval tué sous “ lui; le Colonel Gieta, blessé, et perdant tout sa sang, “ lui donna le sien. Ainsi on remit deux fois à cheval, “ dans la suite, ce conquérant qui n'avait puy monter “ pendant la bataille."-VOLTAIRE, Hist. de Charles XII. p. 216. MAZEPPA.

“ Le roi alla par un autre chemin avec quelques “ cavaliers. Le carrosse, où il était, rompit dans la 6 marche; on le remit à cheval. Pour comble de dis

grace, il s'égara pendant la nuit dans un bois ; là, son

courage ne pouvant plus suppléer à ses forces épuisées, “ les douleurs de sa blessure devenues plus insupport“ able par la fatigue, son cheval étant tombé de lassi“ tude, il se coucha quelques heures au pied d'un arbre,

en danger d'être surpris à tout moment par les vain

queurs qui le cherchaient de tout côtés.”_VOLTAIRE, Histoire de Charles XII.

p.

218.

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I.

1

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

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 starkThe heavy hour was chill and dark;

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The fever in his blood forbade
A transient slumber's fitful aid :
And thus it was ; but yet through all,
Kinglike the monarch bore his fall,
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 chiefs!-alas! how few,

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

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 shadeHimself 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,

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