The bell clangs loud in the running crowd. And the whistle’s note is high;

While the way is cleared for the long truck steered

As the engine rushes by.

On the narrow edge of a window ledge Or the top of a swaying height.

Where the black clouds pour and the red flames roar

And burn a hole in the night:

A strong hand pressed on an iron rest—

A babe and a mother free—

And the rungs of a ladder lead men up To the plains of chivalry.

The hoarse crowd turns where the skyline burns And the place is wild with cheers;

But somewhere a sweetheart, a mother waits Or listens with deadened ears.

And the water tower in the midnight hour Is wet with spray and foam,

As a voice calls out in the darkened street:— “Have all the men come home?”

And this is why, when the bright sparks fly, And the hoof-strokes wake the pave.

The city’s thousands breathe a prayer,

As their hearts cry out, “Clod save!”





Dedicated to the Albany Fire Department, after seeing their brave efforts to save life and properly at the several fires of late.

Hark to the noise ! the starry welkin rings, And slumber half unfolds her dreamy wings, For loud above the conflagration swells The din of trumpet tones and pealing bells.

With speed the jarring engines roll along, And shouts rise up tumultuous from the throng ; Onward they rush, with earnest hearts and brave, To stay the devastation and to save.

Behold yon window ! See the ladders raise! Ascending forms are battling with the blaze. For woman’s wail the soul of fear disarms— Stand back! she’s saved! he bears her in his arms.

And who is he, of tall and stalwart frame, That bore the lady from the fierv flame ? Such were the questions pressed, unanswered, round, As passed the fireman hero from the ground.

She breathes—she moves, and o’er her forehead pale She bends her hand with agonizing wail; One moment more, with frenzy in her eyes, She shrieks, and after her preserver flies.

She caught his hands, and pressed them, kissed them wild, And prayed as mothers only can, to save her child. Roused by her cries, her supp icating tears, He rushes now where danger most appears.

Thro’ the dense smoke he plunged, nor paused to wait, To save the child from its impending fate. He grasps the door, the serpent flames hissed round, And burning rafts gave way with fearful sound.

The scorching beams again uphold his tread, He gains the room, he rushes to the bed. God! what a sight! The roof yields to its prey— The brave Fireman hero bears the child away!

His blackened form is greeted with applause, The Firemen shout, the crowd no longer pause, The mother smiles, she feels no more alarms— The rescued babe he places in her arms.